Tortillas in Nicaragua are a way of life. They give nutrition to almost every Nicaraguan. They are cheap, simple to make or buy, and a main part of most meals. Three simple ingredients of corn, water, and salt make up a large part of the Nicaraguan diet. The typical tortilla venta, store, sells their tortillas for 2 Córdobas, which means you can buy about 13 tortillas for a dollar. At home tortillas were a standard in my refrigerator, to whip up a quick breakfast burrito or for taco night; however, I rarely thought about what they were made of or where they were from. I would just buy tortillas because they are cheap and easy to have in the house.
However, during my time living in Batahola, I have noticed a lot of discussion about how tortillas are made. Near our house, there are two tortilla ladies. One uses freshly ground corn and the other uses Maseca, which is corn flour. This seemingly simple difference causes a lot of controversy here in Batahola. My host family strongly believes in only buying the corn tortillas, but I have been buying the corn flour ones since that lady lives closer. With all this controversy I decided to have a blind taste test! Here are the results:
7 People Correctly Identified the Difference Between Maseca and Maíz
13 People Did Not Correctly Identify the Difference Between Maseca and Maíz
I myself (not included in the 20 people) could also not identify the difference! However, all people when asked said they prefer tortillas from maíz.