I know a little about the process. Masa corn is a specific corn. In the
states a great place to get it, organic by the way, is Anson mills in
S.C. In Mexico women will boil the dried corn with Cooking lime until
the outside of the kernel comes off. From what I understand you add
lime to the water until it just begins to feel like it shocks, yes shocks,
your tongue. After the outside of the kernel sluffs off you separate the
clean corn and rinse it well. You can then grind it or put it in a food
processor and run until it is smooth. As is you form fresh corn tortillas
by hand or with press. For tomales you take this maza and slowly add
the stock from the meat you will be filling the tortillas with. At a point
that is hard to decribe you then add fat of some sort, in Mexico lard, until
the masa does not stick to your hands. Some people will add a little
baking soda to soften the masa. You then fill banana leaves or corn
husks with masa and filling and fold/then steam. There are a million
tamales. My personal favorite is made with fresh sweet corn ground
into a maza of sorts and then put into fresh green corn husks and steamed.
Pure silverqueen corn satisfaction. The best way to learn is from an
elderly latino women. In mexico they use something called a matete.
Pour spelling. It is a bar and a rectangle stone and the dry maza corn
is ground with much effort. Tamales come in all shapes, sizes and flavors.
Every one is worth trying. My favorite is from Oaxaca. Some of the best
times I have had with my kids, is at a table making tamales. I may not
know how to spell some of the Mexican and Indian words, but I do know
some about traditional Mexican food and welcome any questions. I also
have some questions, if there is anyone out there with a wealth of knowledge.
for what its worth