Tortilleria Nixtamal

Authentic Mexican Tortilleria

15 years ago, Feranando Ruiz decided that it was time for NYC to have an authentic tortillería, and opened Tortilleria Nixtamal in Corona, Queens. Nixtamal’s fresh tortillas contain real corn instead of processed flour, using a process known as nixtamalization. They hand-make all their dishes, using only the most natural ingredients. Fernando and Shauna will be making their famous tortillas and Mexican fare at The Market Line, while providing other Mexican specialties for shoppers to take home.

Get to know: Tortilleria Nixtamal

Fernando Ruiz & Shauna Page

Owners

Sustainable and quality ingredients have always been a priority for your company, which immensely adds to your tacos' flavor profile. what do you predict being your most popular taco among the Lower East Side community at The Market Line?

Al Pastor which is a slowly grilled pork, traditionally cooked on an upright rotisserie also known as a trumpo. Topped with pineapple, cilantro and onion.

Tortillas are ubiquitous in New York, but you sought to set your apart from the rest. Can you explain nixtamalization, a process that dates back to Mesoamerica, and describe why it makes for a superior tortilla?

A fresh corn tortilla is like eating a fresh slice of french bread rather than Wonderbread, or freshly mashed potatoes compared to potatoes made from potato flakes. The taste is pure - actually having true natural flavor. The health benefits are high in nutrients (just the tortilla alone) - nixtamal is being considered as a superfood. Tortillas are not intended to simply be holders of food. The indians used tortillas as a central piece of their diet - to give them energy and necessary nutritional elements, such as vitamin B, niacin, activating amino acids, and contributing to positive blood cell counts.

The nixtamal process is simple. Dry corn + calcium hydroxide (aka: lime or cal) + water. Stepped at 200 degrees for 12 hours. It is a science and an art. It is also the only way to activate the nutritional value in corn. And we make nixtamal tortillas with absolutely no preservatives, fresh, every single day.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of...

Representative NYC immigration history (think Tenement Museum) - a mix of almost every culture, every age, full of working class people trying to make ends meet, while seeking the best of what's possible, affordably. The LES is a sleeping giant: so much energy waiting for something to absorb its interest.

The best thing about NYC and the worst think about NYC:

Best - NYC is unlimited in opportunity. And the people who seek out that opportunity implement the best of what they do. New Yorkers actively seek the next best thing and are loyal to good results.

Worst - NYC is hard to do business with. City limits and regulations make operating a business difficult and expensive - something that New Yorkers don't always understand.

What is your earliest food memory?

Grandma's deviled eggs. Thanksgiving dinners - again at Grandma's house. Mastering pancakes with my older brother while mom slept in. Inability to make a good chocolate chip cookie. My most meaningful memory which changed my perception about food is when I went to Rome and ate a simple plate of spaghetti. The sauce was so simple, so fresh, and so tasty - naturally! I was in disbelief. It is that freshness that I try to mimic in the production of our tacos, starting with the corn tortillas.

What is the one food you can't live without?

Mexican! No truly, I could eat it every day all day long. And I'm a gringa.

Preferred method of transportation:

Walking.

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

Fresh vegetables of any kind.

Sustainable and quality ingredients have always been a priority for your company, which immensely adds to your tacos' flavor profile. what do you predict being your most popular taco among the Lower East Side community at The Market Line?

Al Pastor which is a slowly grilled pork, traditionally cooked on an upright rotisserie also known as a trumpo. Topped with pineapple, cilantro and onion.

Tortillas are ubiquitous in New York, but you sought to set your apart from the rest. Can you explain nixtamalization, a process that dates back to Mesoamerica, and describe why it makes for a superior tortilla?

A fresh corn tortilla is like eating a fresh slice of french bread rather than Wonderbread, or freshly mashed potatoes compared to potatoes made from potato flakes. The taste is pure - actually having true natural flavor. The health benefits are high in nutrients (just the tortilla alone) - nixtamal is being considered as a superfood. Tortillas are not intended to simply be holders of food. The indians used tortillas as a central piece of their diet - to give them energy and necessary nutritional elements, such as vitamin B, niacin, activating amino acids, and contributing to positive blood cell counts.

The nixtamal process is simple. Dry corn + calcium hydroxide (aka: lime or cal) + water. Stepped at 200 degrees for 12 hours. It is a science and an art. It is also the only way to activate the nutritional value in corn. And we make nixtamal tortillas with absolutely no preservatives, fresh, every single day.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of...

Representative NYC immigration history (think Tenement Museum) - a mix of almost every culture, every age, full of working class people trying to make ends meet, while seeking the best of what's possible, affordably. The LES is a sleeping giant: so much energy waiting for something to absorb its interest.

The best thing about NYC and the worst think about NYC:

Best - NYC is unlimited in opportunity. And the people who seek out that opportunity implement the best of what they do. New Yorkers actively seek the next best thing and are loyal to good results.

Worst - NYC is hard to do business with. City limits and regulations make operating a business difficult and expensive - something that New Yorkers don't always understand.

What is your earliest food memory?

Grandma's deviled eggs. Thanksgiving dinners - again at Grandma's house. Mastering pancakes with my older brother while mom slept in. Inability to make a good chocolate chip cookie. My most meaningful memory which changed my perception about food is when I went to Rome and ate a simple plate of spaghetti. The sauce was so simple, so fresh, and so tasty - naturally! I was in disbelief. It is that freshness that I try to mimic in the production of our tacos, starting with the corn tortillas.

What is the one food you can't live without?

Mexican! No truly, I could eat it every day all day long. And I'm a gringa.

Preferred method of transportation:

Walking.

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

Fresh vegetables of any kind.

Sustainable and quality ingredients have always been a priority for your company, which immensely adds to your tacos' flavor profile. what do you predict being your most popular taco among the Lower East Side community at The Market Line?

Al Pastor which is a slowly grilled pork, traditionally cooked on an upright rotisserie also known as a trumpo. Topped with pineapple, cilantro and onion.

Tortillas are ubiquitous in New York, but you sought to set your apart from the rest. Can you explain nixtamalization, a process that dates back to Mesoamerica, and describe why it makes for a superior tortilla?

A fresh corn tortilla is like eating a fresh slice of french bread rather than Wonderbread, or freshly mashed potatoes compared to potatoes made from potato flakes. The taste is pure - actually having true natural flavor. The health benefits are high in nutrients (just the tortilla alone) - nixtamal is being considered as a superfood. Tortillas are not intended to simply be holders of food. The indians used tortillas as a central piece of their diet - to give them energy and necessary nutritional elements, such as vitamin B, niacin, activating amino acids, and contributing to positive blood cell counts.

The nixtamal process is simple. Dry corn + calcium hydroxide (aka: lime or cal) + water. Stepped at 200 degrees for 12 hours. It is a science and an art. It is also the only way to activate the nutritional value in corn. And we make nixtamal tortillas with absolutely no preservatives, fresh, every single day.

When I think of the Lower East Side, I think of...

Representative NYC immigration history (think Tenement Museum) - a mix of almost every culture, every age, full of working class people trying to make ends meet, while seeking the best of what's possible, affordably. The LES is a sleeping giant: so much energy waiting for something to absorb its interest.

The best thing about NYC and the worst think about NYC:

Best - NYC is unlimited in opportunity. And the people who seek out that opportunity implement the best of what they do. New Yorkers actively seek the next best thing and are loyal to good results.

Worst - NYC is hard to do business with. City limits and regulations make operating a business difficult and expensive - something that New Yorkers don't always understand.

What is your earliest food memory?

Grandma's deviled eggs. Thanksgiving dinners - again at Grandma's house. Mastering pancakes with my older brother while mom slept in. Inability to make a good chocolate chip cookie. My most meaningful memory which changed my perception about food is when I went to Rome and ate a simple plate of spaghetti. The sauce was so simple, so fresh, and so tasty - naturally! I was in disbelief. It is that freshness that I try to mimic in the production of our tacos, starting with the corn tortillas.

What is the one food you can't live without?

Mexican! No truly, I could eat it every day all day long. And I'm a gringa.

Preferred method of transportation:

Walking.

What is your most essential ingredient in the kitchen?

Fresh vegetables of any kind.