Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Making the Corn Right: Nixtamalization

"Nextli" is Nahautl for "ashes,"
"tamalli" for corn meal dough.
"Nixtamalization" is soaking the corn
in a wood-ash solution.

Everyone did it:
if you lived on maize, you prepped it
with wood ash. Otherwise
you were courting deficiencies

of niacin or amino acids.
And yes, right now, yes
I could do with a tamal.
But the point is

No one knew why they did it
Or they believed they did it
for some other reason:
it made the corn right.

And this is why I say
to storytellers, 
great and small:
just make it right.

Don't worry about niacin.
You don't have to know what the fuck 
the ashes are doing. 
You can be wrong

and still be right.
the goddamn

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