Savoring the Seasons: Local corn = fresh local organic tortillas
By MARY MCCLINTOCK
I’m always glad to see a message from Michael Docter in my email inbox, especially when the subject line is “Fresh Local Organic Tortillas”!
Michael wrote to tell me that Mi Tierra Tortillas are now available in Greenfield. They’re on the menu at Brass Buckle Cafe on Main Street, on the shelves at Green Fields Market, and available at the Kitchen Garden booth at the Greenfield Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
Mi Tierra Tortillas are made by Jorge Sosa and his family, whose Mi Tierra Restaurant burned in the big fire on Route 9 in Hadley last October. A casualty of that fire was their new tortilla-making equipment. Jorge had contracted with local farmers to grow special corn for his tortillas and he had the corn, but not the machine. Since the fire, Jorge and his family have been hand-pressing tortillas and selling them in a few places, including Northampton’s co-op, River Valley Market.
Now, with a new tortilla-making machine, they can supply more stores and restaurants.
What’s so special about these tortillas?
Here’s what Michael said: “These are authentic tortillas made with heirloom varieties of organic corn — just like indigenous people have been making them for thousands of years. Jorge has been perfecting them all winter. Even if you think you don’t like corn tortillas, give these a try. They are completely different than common store-bought tortillas.
“Mi Tierra Tortillas are just corn, lime, and water. They’re made fresh twice a week. These tortillas are particularly exciting for me because it is a delicious opportunity to eat low on the food chain. Corn tortillas with beans and rice, local veggies (and maybe a little meat or chicken or fish). It’s an incredibly healthy and tasty way to eat local. Good for you and good for the planet.”
Here’s what Jorge said: “I’m only making the tortillas, the farmers are doing the hard work of growing the corn. Big farmers don’t grow this kind of corn because it doesn’t produce as much corn. And, they get paid by how much corn they grow, not how tasty it is. Michael makes sure we get the tastiest corn possible, that is all he cares about.”
Here’s what I say: “Run, do not walk, to get these tortillas! They taste and feel like tortillas should, like tortillas I ate 35 years ago in California’s Central Valley farm country.”
Conway Farmers Market, Wednesdays, June 4 through Sept. 24, 4 to 7 p.m., in front of Field Memorial Library, Route 116, Conway Center. For information, contact Peter Freisem at 413-369-4651 or: email@example.com
Spring Farm Festival, Sunday, June 8, 3 to 7 p.m., Greenfield Community Farm, 34 Glenbrook Drive (off of Leyden Road), Greenfield. Family-friendly event rich with activities and community. Work parties, farm tours, guided wildlife walks, art projects, community potluck and performances. For information, visit www.justroots.org or call 413-325-8969.
This week we’re eating ...
By Jorge Sosa, Mi Tierra Tortillas, Hadley
3 T. oil
2 T. soy sauce
3 T. water
juice of a lime
cilantro (for garnish)
½ red onion (sliced ¼ inch)
½ bell pepper (sliced ¼ inch)
½ C. of corn (drain and rinsed)
½ C. black beans (drain)
1 zucchini (sliced ¼ inch)
1 summer squash (sliced ¼ inch)
Mexican queso fresco or other Mexican cheese (optional)
Mi Tierra Organic Tortillas
In hot pan with a tablespoon of oil, add onions and peppers, cook until start getting soft. Add rest of oil, soy sauce, water, and lime juice. Add zucchini, squash, and corn and stir and keep cooking until zucchini and squash start to get soft. Add beans, cook for two more minutes. Add the mixture to a warm soft Mi Tierra Organic Tortilla. Garnish with queso fresco and cilantro.