One of the major reasons for the ‘boom’ in the number of people visiting Mexico City is for the wonderful and varied cuisine one can find in the myriad of restaurants in this metropolis. Selecting the right restaurant for a delicious lunch or dinner can be quite a ‘headache’, but one thing all good Mexican restaurants have in common is the classic ‘tortilla’, which is the absolute staple of all Mexican cuisine.
It’s not difficult to find a hot, fresh tortilla in Mexico City. But chances are these tortillas are made from processed corn flour. However, a growing movement in the Mexican capital of 22 million is focusing on reviving landrace, or indigenous, strains of corn, and preparing it in traditional ways. Try Molino “El Pujol,” celebrity chef Enrique Olvera’s slip of a tortillería, which also serves tamales, long-simmered beans, and dressed-up versions of elote (grilled corn on the cob). Or organic tortillería Cintli, with its turmeric tortillas and Mayan milkshakes made with corn and chocolate. These chefs and tortilla radicals are in step with a cadre of musicians and artists in the city who are expressing themselves with a renewed sense of pride in all that is Mexican.
Get a taste of the city’s new food activism at Masala y Maiz. It’s a restaurant/chef residency, corn research project, and community gathering spot that combines culinary traditions from the founders’ family roots—Mexican and South Asian—with dishes such as tamales stuffed with masala-scented chickpeas.