Suitcase and World: How NOT to make a tortilla.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How NOT to make a tortilla.

Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don't.

In my case, the time that didn't made for a few good laughs. :-)

On our first night in Pana, we had dinner at what I would describe as a Guatemalan restaurant aimed at tourists though this one was run by a family who's patriach was very entertaing. He kicked off our dinner with a bit of history about the Mayans and in particular, the Mayans in the area around Lake Atitlán.

I don't know how he got on to the topic of making tortillas but he did and he ended his tale with an offer to learn how to make one. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity :-)

Unlike Mexican tortillas, which are formed using a press, Guatemalan tortillas are shaped completely by hand.  The result is a thicker tortilla but the interior has a lighter texture because it has not been compressed down by a hand press.  It also has a surface, dotted with crannies, that makes it perfect for holding sauces.

After tasting the super yummy ones in Guatemala City, I wanted to learn how to create this simple bread. Looks easy enough to do.

Here's the video that Soon took of my attempts and it did take me more than one try. I have to admit, it's a pretty funny video to watch.  The sounds of Soon and my brother giggling as they watch my repeated attempts to make a tortilla are infectious!!

Mercifully, I was saved by the sound of music as the marimba players started their performance. Whew!

By the way, I can now attest that it's not as easy to form a tortilla as it looks when you watch the Guatemalan women making them. It's truly a skill and one that I do not have a natural talent for :-(  So, I'm intending on practicing. Tortillas, anyone?