Delicious tortillas are indispensable for making delicious tacos. We think it is necessary that the tortillas are freshly made one by one, and that the tortilla dough (masa) is made from good quality corn by using correct processing method (Nixtamal). Therefore, we import blue corn (indigenous species) from Mexico, grind it, and make it into tortillas all by ourselves. We are particular about what kind of corn to use and where we source it from, and by repeating research and applying technology we are in constant search to improve the quality of our tortillas.
Since our restaurant is located in Japan, we try to make tacos that make sense to us to make here within this context, therefore we try to use only seasonal local ingredients. Based on Mexican cooking and seasoning, tacos made with Japanese ingredients are a new frontier, and there are endless possibilities to raise the level of tacos. Taking advantage of the flavor of the dough, we combine salsa according to the ingredients and aim to create tacos that mix tradition with newness.
Importing corn from Mexico is due to the fact that Japan still lacks delicious corn as a grain and that it wants to protect the diversity of precious corn species by using Mexican native varieties. Corn is Mexico's staple food and has been eaten for thousands of years and has a long history. There are about 80 native varieties originating in Mexico, which are naturally grown by small producers, reflecting the soil and climate of each region. However, with the acceleration of mass production in recent years, genetically modified corn with a single variety tends to overwhelm native organic varieties and lose corn diversity. Some large companies sell cheap and convenient tortilla flour using mass produced hybrid corn, but the flavor, aroma and nutrition are significantly reduced compared to native varieties. There is something that will definitely be lost by pursuing the stability, convenience, and cost that large companies aim for. Even if we can produce varieties that are highly resistant and suitable for mass production, it cannot be compared to the diversity and complexity that nature creates . In recent years there's been growing interest in heirloom varieties of cacao and coffee, corn is as unique and valuable. It's flavor changes dramatically depending on the variety used, the place where it was grown, and the level of dedication of who farmed it. Through the use of native corn, in addition to allowing us to make more delicious tortillas, we hope we will be able to contribute help small farmers and contribute even a little to passing on diversity to the next generation.
Nixtamal is the method of making dough (masa) out of corn, in Mexico and Central America it has been passed down from generation to generation since ancient times. By boiling the corn in alkaline water and soaking it in it, the nutritional value of the corn is increased and it becomes possible to grind it into a manageable dough. Not only tortillas, which are the base of tacos, but also various other foods can be made by the method created by the wisdom of the ancestors. This is the main reason why the invention of Nixtamal made corn a staple food. However, there are many cases where traditional manufacturing methods are mainly oral traditions from person to person, and Nixtamal is no exception.
At Los Tacos Azules, in addition to the knowledge gathered around various parts of Mexico, we have repeated experiments and made efforts to quantify them, and have made progress on Nixtamal by our won. There are variables such as the appropriate amount of water, temperature, degree of alkalinity, etc., and it is necessary to adjust according to the type of corn used. The quality of Nixtamal greatly affects the quality of the dough, and affects the color, aroma, and texture of the tortillas. The reason why we use the Nixtamal manufacturing method, which requires such arduous labor, is that it is the most delicious way to make dough. With respect for our ancestors, we would like to cook the precious native corn and enjoy grown by farmers in the most delicious way.
Tortillas taste better fresh！
We offer delicious tortillas, which are made with particular attention to raw materials and manufacturing processes, freshly baked one by one for each order because we want you to eat them in the most delicious state. Of course, from the aspect of efficiency, it may make you wait a little, but Los Tacos Azules gives priority to deliciousness. By providing delicious tacos, it will be communicated to customers, and if more people remember the taste of delicious tacos, it will also support farmers who grow native species in Mexico and the seeds will never die.