friday feast: ♥my darling, my tortilla♥

Today we sing the praises of the Mexican tortilla.

O tlaxcalli, ancient flatbread, little round cake, pride of the Aztecs! Delicioso!

“Woman Grinding Maize” by Diego Rivera (1924)

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ODE TO TORTILLAS
by Fernando Esteban Flores

O
what delicacies
hide between the folds
of my tortillas
soft
& warm
ready to be deposited
in a place where hunger knows no boundaries

O
how this flat, round
speckled world
invites me to discover
its buttery terrain
of uncharted appetites

O
edible plate
uncurled to my intestinal delights
will you be
my gordita tonight
decked out in your
green & red petticoats

O(r)
might you tease me
with a red strapless
enchilada wrap?

in a country of brown hands
in fellowship with tlaili, ehecatl, y atl
(earth, wind & water)

O
Tlaxcalli
i repeat the cosmic cycle
i break you
& i receive the wafer of survival
on my tongue:

Bless the golden maíz that brought you forth
Bless the bronze hands that kneaded you
Bless the stone pallets that rolled out
the perfect faces of my people

~ from Ragged Borders: Poems (Hijo del Sol Pub, 1996).

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How I love this poem — the sense of reverence, the nod to roots, beginnings, of coming full circle in such beautifully spare verse. There is a wonderful feeling of wholeness, as if the poet wrapped the heart of his culture in that “flat, round speckled world.”

Speaking of the “perfect faces of my people,” enjoy this mini gallery of tortilla art by California native Joe Bravo, who began painting on tortillas because he couldn’t afford canvases back in his college days.

I use the Tortilla as a Canvas because it is an integral part of the Hispanic Culture and my heritage. For the subject matter of my tortilla paintings, I use imagery that is representative of Latinos, conveying their hopes, art, beliefs and history. As the tortilla has given us life, I give it new life by using it as an art medium.

JOE BRAVO TORTILLA ART

Carmen Miranda
Chile Con Carne
Maya
Love Rose
Madonna Marilyn
Mona Frida
Singing Parrot
A Time for Hope

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Learn more about Joe’s amazing acrylic on tortilla paintings in this video:

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BUEN PROVECHO!

What is your favorite way to eat tortillas?

Check out these yummy recipes by clicking on the images:

Crock Pot Shredded Beef Tacos
Best Chicken Enchiladas Ever!
Italian-style Roasted Vegetable Tostadas
Smoked Gouda Mushroom Quesadillas

 Muy Bueno!

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poetry fridayThe lovely and talented Margaret Simon is hosting today’s Roundup at Reflections on the Teche. Fly over on your magic tortilla and check out the full menu of poetic goodness on this week’s menu. *smacks lips*

 

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wkendcookingiconThis post is also being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Put on your best aprons and bibs and join the fun!

 

 

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

67 thoughts on “friday feast: ♥my darling, my tortilla♥

  1. You may have hot teas on your blog, but your posts are very cool! Where do you find this stuff?🙂 The poem is wonderful, Rivera’s painting is, of course, stunning and the tortilla art- very resourceful and unique! And the recipes…mmmmm…. I think I will have to make the smoked gouda quesadillas very soon.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the tortilla fest today, Iza! It was fun to put this post together, and I, too, would love to try making the smoked gouda quesadillas🙂.

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  2. What a lovely ode. And I love the repetition of “O” that also echoes the shape of the tortilla. The artwork is amazing. Or rather, a-maize-ing. Your blog is the best, Jama.

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    1. “A-maize-ing” = LOVE it! (Why didn’t I think of that?)

      Those “O’s” are brilliant, aren’t they? Thanks for visiting today, Diane🙂.

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  3. I LOVE the poem and your entire post. We lived in Mexico when I was a very small child and I have memories of going to an outdoor market with my mom and watching a woman make the tortillas that we then took home to eat. Mmm.. I want a fresh tortilla now!

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  4. “O
    edible plate
    uncurled to my intestinal delights
    will you be
    my gordita tonight” made me smile🙂 and I particularly like the ending.
    I think my favorite Bravo tortilla is the Chile Con Carne. Thanks, Jama.

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  5. Oh Jama, the ode is marvelous, “uncharted appetites” and on. When I took students to Mexico, we had the good fortune to have a woman cook for us & never had we tasted such wonderful tortillas at Taco Bell! And those paintings on tortillas-wow. Joe Bravo knows just how to use the everyday to make beauty. Perhaps when time I will try my own tortillas? Have you made them from scratch? Thanks for a lovely Poetry Friday!

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    1. No, I’ve never tried to make tortillas from scratch. If you ever make them, please let us know how they turn out.🙂

      You’ve had the best school trips — what great adventures to share with your students!

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  6. O! O! O! What a brilliant, fun, provocative post, Jama.
    The poem is just enchanting (besides making me hungry).
    I LOVE the tortilla paintings, and getting to hear Joe Bravo speak about them. Mona Frida – brilliant! (The Maya is my favorite.) Thanks all around.

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  7. I’m glad I just ate lunch.🙂 I admire his ingenuity — the artist is driven to paint, to practice, to improve, so he casts about for an expensive canvas while in college. Inspiring! My favorite way to eat tortillas is green chile chicken enchiladas with sour cream.

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  8. I should know better than to come to your blog hungry. Tortillas for dinner, maybe? Such a feast for the eyes. Thanks.

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  9. Hey Jama, what an amazing book and artist. I had fried guacamole last night with my two taco’s– one fish, one pulled chicken. I sat outside on the patio at El Gringo. Come visit me and we can eat lots of Mexican food.

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  10. This is probably heretical, but I like a tortilla lightly toasted with a smidgen of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

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    1. Not heretical at all! I almost posted a recipe for apple pie tortillas🙂. I’m going to try the butter and cinnamon sugar combination tomorrow morning.

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  11. A day that ends with tortilla in my belly was a good one. Eating Mexican food is part of my family tradition after my aunt married a man from Mexico. Quesadillas, chilaquiles, enchiladas, turkey tortilla soup, arroz con queso and nachos. I’m salivating. I’m like Pavlov’s dog. All you have to do it say tortilla. That was another stellar post that made me want to call my aunt immediately, but it’s too late at night. Where is my instant gratification? No tortilla and no beloved aunt at this hour. So I will just gaze on that DR reproduction a little more and all those divine tortilla images. Especially the Mona Frida. Awesome!

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  12. OK, I love tortillas. I mean, I live in Texas – tortillas are everywhere. I love them in enchiladas and tostadas and tacos and quesadillas and, and, and, just with butter. But…I’ve never heard of anyone painting on tortillas. How unique and beautiful. Muy bueno, indeed!

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  13. It’s a good thing I saved your post for this morning, Jama, since tortillas were on the menu for tonight anyway.🙂 …”soft/& warm/ready to be deposited/in a place where hunger knows no boundaries.” You betcha!

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    1. I thought it was interesting that Mr. Bravo finds inspiration for what to paint on each tortilla by its unique shape and markings.

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  14. The tortilla painting is interesting and surprisingly beautiful. I make tortillas every Tuesday night and while they’re probably not the most authentic because they just require all purpose flour they’re delicious! I’ve never made a batch of tortillas without breaking down and snacking on one as I work!

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  15. I had not heard of that book before or tortilla painting! Very talented artist.

    As for those quesadillas I can tell you
    My could eat a pan of them all by himself! Great photos.

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  16. You’re exactly right, Jama. Flores does wrap “the heart of his culture in that ‘flat, round speckled world'” in this wonderfully evocative poem. Bravo’s tortilla paintings are incredible! I agree with you about “Mona Frida.” So clever!

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  17. This post makes me hungrier than usual! The tortilla is such an elemental food, captured perfectly in the poem (“O / edible plate”). What a surprise to see the tortilla paintings, and I laughed out loud with delight at the Mona Frida!

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  18. As usual, I am now soooo hungry.🙂
    Love that tortilla poem!

    And, painting on tortillas? I think I have a new homeschool art project.🙂

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  19. What a tribute to the tortilla! Love the poem. And the painted tortillas are amazing. I’ll have to pass this post on to my friend who teaches art. I clicked through to the quesadilla recipe and it looks easy and delicious. Thanks for another wonderful post, Jama!

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  20. I love the poem with the “O” at the beginning of the stanzas. So fun. I pretty much would eat any of those dishes you shared. Yummmmmmmmm

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