Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-vi

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

In the late 1990s I worked one day as a temp employee in an immigrant neighborhood tortillería, bordered to the south by the village of Anapra, Mexico; to the east, El Paso, Texas. I moved to New Mexico from a farm in Pennsylvania, and the most I knew about tortillas is that they tasted good in Pennsylvania and best at the borderlands, handmade and warm off the griddle. But this is not a book about my one-day-for-cheap-pay in a tortilla-making ...

read more

Prologue • The Humble Tortilla

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xxiv

The history of the tortilla is a tale of the powerful intersections of people, customs, and culinary traditions that continues to lift generations and cultures. Two years ago I interviewed Eva Ybarra at her home in Anthony, New Mexico, halfway between Las Cruces, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. Trying to avoid the stifling heat of the day by working in the shadow of her mobile home, Eva patted round tortillas from corn dough and flipped...

read more

1 • The Incomparable Tortilla

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-20

Deep in the highlands of Chiapas in southeastern Mexico, a contemporary Zinacantecos shaman kneels before three wooden crosses decorated with pine tree tops and bunches of red geraniums. As he prays to his ancestral Maya gods who reside inside the volcanic mountains, the shaman plants white wax candles in the earth before the shrine, waves copal incense over the...

read more

2 • The Life-Giving Tortilla

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-36

Within the walled Sacred Precinct of Templo Mayor in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlán, the children tore a dried-out tortilla in half and, with a piece of the sharp end, played the game of dying on the altar. So went the pretend human sacrifice. Franciscan Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, a Spanish missionary in sixteenth-century New Spain, described the tortilla ritual played...

read more

3 • The Stubborn Tortilla

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 37-54

The tortilla journeyed through Mesoamerica as the star and then the bit player of New Spain. On April 22, 1519, eleven Spanish brigantines carrying over five hundred soldiers, horses, dogs, a crew of sailors, European matchlock guns, and fourteen cannons sailed into the port of Veracruz, Mexico. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés began his conquest of...

read more

4 • El Norte

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 55-70

In July 1542, it was hot and dusty in the Pueblo country of northern New Mexico. By the time the Spanish exploratory expedition reached Háwikuh, the southernmost of the Zuni pueblos, conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, dressed to conquer in a gilded suit of full armor and metal helmet adorned with plumes, was exhausted and hungry. He was happy for the substance of “Indian tortillas.”...

read more

5 • The Frontier Tortilla

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 71-88

In the 1500s wayward groups of free-range Corriente cattle, a hardy breed of the original Spanish cattle brought to the New World able to withstand the ocean crossing and adapt to the Americas, wandered north from the haciendas in Central Mexico to El Paso del Norte. The cattle drank from the Rio Grande and spread through the upper and lower river valleys, stretching...

read more

6 • The Industrial Tortilla

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 89-106

Before dawn, Anita Hernández Lucas and her mother rose and went their separate ways to different cornmills to begin work by 3:30 in the morning. Hernández’s story began in 1916 when she was born in Mexico City. Her father fought during the Mexican Revolution and her mother followed him as a soldadera from battlefield to battlefield where he died, she told historian ...

read more

7 • The Immigrant Tortilla

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 107-128

In 1994 the single strand of cable marking the international border between San Diego, California, and Tijuana, Mexico, was replaced with an eighteen-foot barrier. Called Operation Gatekeeper, the new border strategy by the United States began with the construction of fourteen miles of steel fence stretching from the inland desert to the beach. When construction workers reached the Pacific Ocean they kept going and sunk steel pillars into the sand three hundred feet into the ocean surf....

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 129-136

Glossary

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 137-140

Selected Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 141-154

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 155-157

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF