Maiz Tucson was started by Carlos Figueroa pondering “why don’t tacos taste as good here (in Arizona) as they do in Mexico” says Figueroa. After a conversation with the owner of one of his go-to Tucson restaurants, Maico, and reading an interview with Chris Bianco-the famous Phoenix pizzaiolo; Carlos realized that the quality of the tortillas was the problem.
Carlos decided to dive in head first, quit his job of 8 years and travel to Mexico to gain as much knowledge as he could about making tortillas. While travelling around Mexico for more than 6 months, Carlos enrolled in many different cooking classes throughout, including one in Oaxaca that taught Pre-Hispanic cooking. This class taught him how to ground the corn into masa using a metate (a flat stone made of lava rock) and mano (flat oval shaped rolling pin, made from the same lava rock). After completing this rigorous and demanding process, through which he ground corn to an “acceptable” point according to the teacher, Carlos cooked up his first tortilla. “It didn’t look pretty, but it tasted so good” said Figueroa. He knew it was the fresh, local corn that gave it the amazing flavor…and he also realized that he didn’t want to use the ancient metate technique to grind the corn and opted to purchase a molino (mill) when he returned to Tucson.
Tucson CSA carries these delicious corn tortillas which are available for purchase during share pickup on Tuesday and Wednesday every other week (typically the 1st and 3rd weeks of each month). Maiz Tucson rotates corn on a weekly basis based on what is available from his supplier who sources the corns from Tlaxcala, Oaxaca and Michoacan.
Enjoy Maiz Tucson tortillas the way Carlos likes them, with a simple fried egg or avocado on top and you will understand why he embarked on this adventure in the first place.