- 1 How do you grind fresh corn?
- 2 Do you need to grind cracked corn for moonshine?
- 3 Can a coffee grinder grind corn?
- 4 Can you grind corn in a wheat grinder?
- 5 Can I use blender instead of grinder?
- 6 Can you use coffee grinder as grain mill?
- 7 What is the cheapest way to dry corn?
- 8 What did the Indians use to grind corn?
- 9 What did the Mayans use to grind corn?
How do you grind fresh corn?
To grind masa in a mill –
Set up the mill, and adjust the grinding plates for a fine grind. As you crank the empty mill, the plates should rub against each other with a small amount of constant friction. Place a large bowl below the grinding plates. Working in batches, place the prepared corn in the hopper, and grind, adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to lubricate the grinding process, 5 to 6 tablespoons total. Once all of the corn has passed through the mill, working in batches, return the corn mixture to the hopper. Continue grinding, using a wooden tamper or the handle of a wooden spoon to feed mixture into the mill and adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to hydrate the dough until mixture has a mashed potato consistency, 8 to 12 tablespoons total. (The texture may be slightly dry and shaggy, but you’re well on your way to soft and tender masa.) To grind masa in a food processor: Transfer corn to a salad spinner, and spin to remove excess water. (Drying the corn well is essential for grinding it evenly.) Transfer half of the corn (about 21/2 cups) to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until kernels are coarsely chopped, 6 to 8 pulses. Process until corn is very finely ground, 3 to 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl and break up if it forms a ball. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Repeat process with remaining corn, and add ground corn to the bowl with the first batch. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt over corn mixture. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, kneading masa in bowl at least 30 seconds after each addition. Continue adding water and kneading until the texture is similar to Play-Doh, slightly tacky but not too sticky, 10 to 15 teaspoons of water total and about 10 minutes of kneading. It’s important to incorporate a small amount of water at a time, allowing the masa to absorb the moisture and gradually become soft and pliable. If it feels a little dry, add more water, but only 1 teaspoon at a time to avoid overhydrating it. If it gets too sticky or feels too wet, let masa stand, uncovered, 20 minutes; gently knead to achieve a drier texture. To test if the dough is properly hydrated, form a golf ball–size ball in your hands. Press between your palms to flatten to a 1/2-inch-thick disk. The dough along the edges should be smooth; if it cracks, continue adding water and kneading. If the masa doesn’t release cleanly from your palms, it is too wet. Cover bowl with a damp kitchen towel to prevent surface of masa from drying out. Use immediately, or let stand at room temperature up to 4 hours. If it dries out, dip your hands in water, and gently knead to add more moisture until the masa is soft, tender, and pliable.
Do you need to grind cracked corn for moonshine?
Pitching the Yeast – Temperature plays an important role in making moonshine. Before adding your yeast, you need to make sure your mash has cooled to 70°F. As well as the correct temperature, your mash needs oxygen for the fermentation process. With a large recipe like this one, you will need to pour your mash between your fermentation bucket and your pot about 5-10 times in order to aerate it.
- This process will provide the oxygen necessary to help the yeast do its work.
- Once you have aerated your mash (finish with the mash in your fermentation bucket) and add your yeast.
- Place an airtight lid and airlock in place.
- Let it ferment in an area with a constant temperature between 70°F and 75°F for about 10-14 days.
Watch your airlock for a cease in activity for about two days before distilling.
- 6 gallons of filtered water
- 8 pounds of ground cracked corn
- 1.5 pounds of malted barley
- One pack of yeast (usually 11g)
- Pour six gallons of filtered water into your large pot and heat to 165°F. Once you have reached 165°F, turn off the heat and add your cracked corn.
- The reason that you need to have your corn ground is that it needs to release its starch. Once you have added your corn, stir it for about 20 seconds every 5 minutes. Monitor the temperature. Once it lowers to 150°F you can add the crushed barley. Stir so it is well incorporated.
- Malted barley is an important ingredient because its enzymes are necessary to convert your starches into sugar. After you have added your barley and stirred your mash you can turn off the heat. At this point, we want to cool our mash to room temperature or 70°F.
- At this stage, it is not necessary to strain your mash. However, we find it easier to strain our mash using a cheesecloth and clean hands (to squeeze it out) once our mash is cool. Otherwise, you can strain your mash after fermentation using the same method.
- Temperature plays an important role in making moonshine. Before adding your yeast, you need to make sure your mash has cooled to 70°F. As well as the correct temperature, your mash needs oxygen for the fermentation process.
- With a large recipe like this one, you will need to pour your mash between your fermentation bucket and your pot about 5-10 times in order to aerate it. This process will provide the oxygen necessary to help the yeast do its work. Once you have aerated your mash (finish with the mash in your fermentation bucket) and add your yeast. Place an airtight lid and airlock in place.
- Let it ferment in an area with a constant temperature between 70°F and 75°F for about 10-14 days. Watch your airlock for a cease in activity for about two days before distilling
- Run your still as per its instructions. For information on how to fractionate your run, check out our
: Traditional Cracked Corn Moonshine Recipe – HowtoMoonshine
Can a coffee grinder grind corn?
It gives. us the ability to adjust the grind for different flours.
How do you dry corn before grinding?
Processing Flour Corn at Home Kentucky Rainbow (Daymon Morgan’s Knt. Butcher) Dent Corn Today many people grow flour corn solely for decoration. Flour corn varieties certainly are beautiful but they have so much more going for them than their looks! Many Native American cultures relied on these corns as a staple food.
- Today they’re still an excellent way to produce and eat a more local diet.
- They really aren’t difficult to process into delicious cornmeal, flour, or grits.
- Harvesting Most flour corns have two numbers listed for “days to maturity.” The first number or set of numbers is when the corn will be ready to harvest in it’s milk stage like you would sweet corn.
You’ll know it’s at this stage when the tassels turn brown. It won’t be nearly as sweet as modern hybrid sweetcorn however it’s still quite tasty when roasted with butter. The second number or set is when your corn will be fully mature and ready to harvest for flour.
The husk should be papery and dry. You should harvest your corn on a dry day before your first fall frost. Then you can pull the husk back from the corn and hang them so the kernels can finish drying completely. Traditionally corn husks were sometimes braided or tied together to hang the corn in small bundles.
You’ll know when the corn is completely dry because the kernels will crack instead of squishing under pressure. It should be noted that gourd seed and popcorn varieties can also be processed into flour and Native Americans often used them this way. Shelling & Winnowing When your corn is dry it can be processed. The first step is to shell your corn. This can be done by hand or with a corn sheller. Doing it by hand can be time consuming and tiring if your doing anything but a very small quantity. At SESE we offer two handheld corn shellers, (above right) and,
You can also sometimes find larger corn shellers like the one pictured above left at antique stores, flea markets, or auctions. Once your corn has been shelled odds are they’ll be bits of corn cob mixed in which is also called chaff. To remove this you’ll need to winnow your corn. Don’t worry though it’s easy and there’s no special equipment required.
Simply place a quantity of your corn into a large bowl or bucket. Then place an empty one in front of a fan. A household box fan will work perfectly. Then slowly pour your corn into the bucket in front of the fan. The fan will blow away the lighter pieces of material while the corn will fall into the other container.
You may have to repeat this several times before the corn is clean. Nixtamalization It may seem like you should now be able to just grind your corn and eat it there’s actually another step. In order to get the all the available nutrition from corn it needs to be nixtamalized. Traditionally this was done by soaking or boiling the corn in lime water.
Native Americans in North America used wood ash for this but today it’s common to use pickling lime which should be easily available with home canning supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:
1/8 cup of pickling lime 1 1/2 quarts of water 1lb corn
Pickling lime is caustic so rinse it off quickly if it gets on your skin and avoid getting any in your eyes. Be extra careful if there are small children around. Dissolve your lime in your water and combine the lime water and corn and bring them to a boil.
- Avoid aluminum pots as they react with the lime.
- Turn off the heat and let your corn soak overnight.
- In the morning rinse your corn well in a stainless steel colander.
- While it’s rinsing rub off some of the corn’s outer layer (this will give you a finer flour).
- The corn can then be used whole in soups or stews or ground into flour.
Depending on what you’re using to grind your corn you can grind it wet or dry it to grind later by laying it out in a single layer on a screen or using a dehydrator.
For a more in depth look at the history and importance of Nixtamalization check out from Cook’s Illustrated.**For most people this corn isn’t going to make up a large part of your diet so it won’t be harmful to skip this step if you feel you need to. Grinding
Traditionally corn was ground in a mortar and pestle or with a grinding stone. Thankfully today there are a variety of home grain mills available that are suitable for grinding corn. You can find ones that are hand crank or electric, ones with stone grinding wheels and ones with metal, and mills that can handle wet, oily products and those that can’t.
What you choose will depend on your budget and goals. Depending on what you’re hoping to make with your corn (like fine flour for tortillas or courser corn for grits) you’ll need to set your mill to achieve a specific coarseness. Some mills may require more passes to produce fine flour. If your mill is taking multiple passes it may be helpful to strain the corn through a wire mesh colander and run the larger pieces back through separately rather than the entire batch.
Storage If you grow an ample amount of corn your going to want to store some for later. Flour corn is best stored at two stages. First it can be stored on the ear once it’s completely dry. You can even leave it hanging if you want. Alternatively, to save room you can store it in containers after it has been shelled and winnowed.
- It will stay fresh much longer as whole kernels than if you grind it into flour.
- Adding flour corn to your backyard garden is a great way to produce more than just fresh produce for yourself.
- It’s easy to grow and store for use throughout the year and making your own grits or tortillas can be a great family activity.
Pin it for later. : Processing Flour Corn at Home
Can I use a food processor to grind corn?
Tip – Store your cornmeal in an airtight container and freeze what is not used within a week. Use a food processor or coffee mill for grinding small batches. Buy a commercial mill if you frequently grind corn. Electric commercial mill prices start at $250. Look for self-sharpening, carborundum/ceramic burrs for the highest quality mill.
Can you grind corn in a wheat grinder?
Home » Kitchen Tips » Wheat Grinding 101: All About Wheat Grinders Welcome to the second installment of the Wheat/Wheat Grinding 101 series! The first installment is here and talks about the types of wheat, where to buy wheat and what to do with it. Today, I want to delve into a specific part of wheat grinding: The Wheat Grinder.
- There’s some good stuff here today including, but not limited to, the compiled list of wheat grinder reviews that many of you submitted! But first, let me address a question I received several times after the first post a few weeks ago.
- Why do I grind my own wheat instead of just buying wheat flour at the store? 1) I Stay In Control: I can control the type of wheat I use (many wheat flours at the store are derived from red wheat berries and I prefer a mix of red and white wheat or white wheat on its own), I can control the fineness and/or coarseness of the flour and with my wheat grinder, I can grind it much finer than the wheat flour from the store, I can control when I grind it which means by grinding and using immediately (or freezing), the wheat hasn’t lost any nutritional value (once the wheat berry is ground it is subject to oxidation which causes it to gradually lose nutritional value so freshly ground wheat is more nutritious than wheat flour that’s been on the shelves for a month).2) It’s Cheaper: because I can buy wheat berries in bulk (see here for sources ), I can grind my own wheat flour much more cost-effectively than buying already ground wheat flour.3) It’s Not Just About Flour: Using wheat berries and a grinder, I can not only grind flour, but I can also make cracked wheat and grind a variety of other grains/seeds (I’ll talk about that in more detail below).4) It Keeps Me Safe: Despite what natural disaster and emergency may occur (I’m talking even the loss of a job or financial difficulty), I know that I have 100 pounds of wheat ready to grind for a variety of foods that could help sustain our family.
We’ve gone through “lean” months/years before and our wheat and other food storage has been a huge blessing and sometimes nothing short of a miracle.5) It’s Healthy: Because I have a wheat grinder sitting on my kitchen counter and a bunch of wheat berries ready to be ground, I naturally use whole grains in most of my baking, making our bread and throwing it into cookies and other baked goods and breakfast foods willy nilly.
Because I can. And eating a whole wheat chocolate chip cookie somehow feels a little healthier. Don’t burst my bubble, please. Grinding flour and other grains is an investment, there is no doubt about it. Wheat grinders are not cheap; but for me (and I can only speak for myself here), the above factors more than make up for any of the downsides.
However, wheat grinders and grinding wheat are not for everyone! This series isn’t supposed to put pressure on anyone – it’s simply a resource for those who already use/grind wheat or who are looking to start. If you know me well enough you know I’m the last person that wants to make you feel badly for something you aren’t doing.
- Trust me, I may grind my own wheat, but you definitely don’t want to see the state of my laundry room and/or toilets.
- We all have our strengths.
- Okie doke.
- Ready to get started on wheat grinders? First, I’m going to show you the wheat grinder I have.
- I’m in love with it.
- I’ve had it for almost 4 years now and I use it at least 4-5 times a week because I grind my wheat fresh for everything I make.
I keep this baby on the counter tucked into a little corner and there it stays day in and day out. My grinder (grain mill if you want to get technical) is a European model that has gained popularity in the United States just in the last few years. It is called a KoMo Fidibus or Wolfgang mill.
I have the Classic model. In addition to wheat, it can also grind: oats, rice, triticale, kamut, spelt, buckwheat, barley, rye, millet, teff, quinoa, amaranth, sorghum and dent (field) corn. It will also grind spices, lentils and dry beans (pinto, red, garbanzo, kidney, etc.). Considering I don’t know what many of those foods even are, I use it for wheat 99% of the time, but you better believe I’m ultra-proud it can grind the other foods, too.
Let’s walk through how it operates and then I’ll talk about the pros and cons. Just like most wheat grinders on the market today, it has a large “hopper” or bowl-type apparatus on top of the grinder. Hello, hopper! The hopper is loaded up with wheat berries, The hopper on my grain mill fits about 6 cups of wheat berries. This amount will vary depending on the type of wheat grinder you have. Once filled (and you don’t have to fill it all the way to grind), I turn on the small power button on the side and it starts doing its thing. I set my large Pyrex bowl underneath and the ground flour spills into the bowl. I find I can get about 12 cups flour for every 6 cups of wheat berries I grind. Keep in mind, though, that freshly ground flour has more air to it and so if you want a really accurate measurement, let it settle before you measure. I never bother with that; I just pack it slightly more into the cups if it just came out of the grinder. Again, along with most other wheat grinders, my beloved mill, has a setting that lets me adjust the texture of the flour from fine to coarse. I simply twist the hopper bowl to get finer or coarser flour. When it’s all said and done, I’m left with beautiful, fluffy flour. Amazing! The thing with wheat grinders is that each of them differ slightly – in price, capacity, noise, fineness of flour, etc. So the best advice I can give if you are in the market for a wheat grinder is to do your research. I had a Nutrimill for 5 or so years before buying the KoMo mill.
Can I use blender instead of grinder?
The main distinction between a grinder and a blender is the purpose for which it is used. While grinders exclusively grind or powder food, blenders can also mix, chop, crush, and puree ingredients. Choose a grinder if you need a tool to reduce spices to powder or to grind hard beans.
What is the difference between whole corn and cracked corn?
Corn can be fed whole with excellent results, but cracking or rolling it will increase digestibility by 5-10%. Although this improvement in digestibility can be important, it may not be enough to pay for the cost of processing the grain.
Can I use a blender instead of a grain mill?
No need to worry you can use a blender! Here are some quick tips on how to use a blender as a grain mill.
What is a corn grinder called?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Allied Mills flour mill on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in North West England A gristmill (also: grist mill, corn mill, flour mill, feed mill or feedmill ) grinds cereal grain into flour and middlings, The term can refer to either the grinding mechanism or the building that holds it. Grist is grain that has been separated from its chaff in preparation for grinding,
Can a magic mill grind corn?
Because not much is written on the internet about the original wooden Magic Mill stone grinder, I thought I would do some research. I purchased a used Magic Mill about 15 years ago for $75 from a friend in my ward who didn’t want a heavy, loud mill anymore.
- And yes, it is heavy and loud.
- But at the time, price and performance were more important to me.
- I have never had a problem with it, and just put it on a lazy susan which helps me spin it from front to back easily.
- My feeling is that even if something is old, if it works, continue to use it.
- For those of you that own a newer grinder, you don’t need to read more of this post.
However, some of you may have inherited a Magic Mill, or found one at a garage sale, and will want to read further. The original Magic Mill grinder was manufactured starting in the 60’s in Filer, Idaho. I talked to the original owner’s daughter (now Kuest Enterprise) and she said they sold Magic Mill, Inc.
- To another buyer about 1976, and then it was manufactured in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- So, some of you have different labels on your grinders.
- Uest Enterprise still makes commercial grinders and the Golden Grain Grinder which is similar to the original Magic Mill.
- You can use the instruction booklet for the Golden Grain Grinder for your Magic Mill.
Description: An impact, or stone grinder Has 3/4 hp motor by Dayton or Leeson On/Off switch is on the back by the motor (see silver lever above) Can grind course to fine flour, or cracked wheat cereal. Adjust the stones closer or further apart by turning the loop-ended wire on the back of the motor (see above) Can grind any dry grains such as wheat, barley, rye, spelt, and corn,
Do not grind flaxseed or soybeans unless you mix with another grain. If it gets gummed up, grind dry corn or popcorn through it on the course setting to clean it out. Has a top wood door opening with a steel funnel that guides grains to the stones Comes with a hand powered attachable handle for power outages Look at the bottom of the stainless steel bin for capacity.
Mine holds about 18 cups. Pros: If used correctly, the motor and stones can last for years. Has a manual lever for power outages. Grinds quickly. Cons: More difficult to clean than newer mills. Heavy. Loud (consider using ear plugs.) Weevils can hide in stone crevices.
- Important to run grain through often, so don’t let it sit for years.
- If you have any concerns, Kuest can replace your grinder stones.
- Tips for Purchase : Difficult to find as it is quite popular.
- Easier to find in Utah and Idaho.
- Check KSL.com, Craigslist.org, YouAdList.com; sometimes on Ebay.
- Avoid ads that say “vintage” as the price may be higher.
Lists for $100 – $300. Originally retailed for around $300, but would probably retail new today for over $500. If you get it for $100 or less, you got a great deal. If you inherit it for free, consider yourself lucky. Obviously, make sure it works by testing it before you buy. How to Clean a Magic Mill 1. Remove the metal funnel and the metal drawer.2. Wash the steel flour bin and the funnel in the dishwasher (or with soapy water) and dry completely. Do not return to the mill unless they are dry. DO NOT get the grinding stones or motor wet.3.
- After each use, brush out the dust with a clean paintbrush.4.
- Wipe the outside of the mill with a damp cloth.
- To get rid of weevils, try some of the following: 1.
- Grind a few cups of corn on the fine setting, then a few cups on the coarse setting.
- Throw away the cornmeal.2.
- Put the grinder in a large garbage bag with a small amount of dry ice on the side of the box for a few days.3.
Scatter bay leaves inside on the sides of the steel flour bin as they keep bugs away.4. It’s best not to let your grinder sit for years, but to use it regularly.5. If you have an air compressor hose, just blow it thoroughly outside See how I grind the wheat at this post Replacement Parts and Repair: Bosch Kitchen Center 8940 S.700 E.
Can you use coffee grinder as grain mill?
Inexpensive Way To Grind Grain: Coffee Grinder After I wrote the article about my Zojirushi Bread Machine, I got an email from a reader sharing her inexpensive tip to grind grain. Many of the cost around $200 and that is simply not in the budget for some families.
- Bonnie shared: I put my grains in my and then sift them Using a to grind wheat is a great and inexpensive way to make delicious homemade bread for cheap! The thing to remember is that you need to sift your flour after you grind the grain in the coffee grinder.
- Only grind grain in small quantities so you don’t jam your grinder.
Usually 3/4 to 1 cup of grain is all a small coffee grinder can handle. cost under $20 so this is a great way to try out fresh ground wheat before you make a big investment in a : Inexpensive Way To Grind Grain: Coffee Grinder
What is the cheapest way to dry corn?
Table 4: Static pressure (inches of water) for airflow through shelled corn.* – *Airflow resistance values have been multiplied by 1.5 to give table values. This accounts for fines and packing in the bin. If corn is stirred, airflow resistance is reduced, so divide table values by 1.5.
There are three basic types of grain-drying fans: Axial-flow, centrifugal and in-line centrifugal. You can use any of the three types, but axial-flow fans are most common for natural-air corn dryers because they’re the least expensive and the most efficient type at the low static pressures encountered in corn drying.
Also, the drying air captures any heat given off by the motor. Table 5 provides a rough estimate of fan power requirements (horsepower, or hp) for different airflows and corn depths. Power requirements drastically increase as depth and airflow per bushel increase.
How long does it take corn to dry down?
ICM News Corn harvest is fast approaching. This year’s corn maturity is about 5-10 days behind normal. With field dry down occurring in late September and October this year, there is the potential for a later harvest of corn at a higher moisture content. The rule of thumb has been that corn dries at a rate of 0.5 to 1.0% per day in September, 0.25 to 0.5% per day in October, and almost no drying occurring in November. Of course, these rules of thumb can change with favorable or unfavorable weather conditions. Water loss from corn kernels is divided into two phases. The first phase is kernel moisture loss before maturity in which water loss is related to accumulation of dry matter in kernels. After black layer, moisture loss occurs through evaporation of water from the kernel surface. From 2014 through 2016 we collected corn ears from a central Iowa field that had four dates of planting and four hybrid maturities. Corn ears were collected on a weekly interval in September and October. Our data indicates that the average dry down rate during the entire dry down period is 0.58% per day (Figure 1). However, this drying rate is not constant. During the first 20 days, moisture is lost at a rate of 0.69% per day, while the next 20 days it drops to 0.44% per day. We did not find significant differences in dry down rates among hybrid maturities during the three years of the study. On the other hand, the kernel moisture at maturity, which also influences how fast harvestable moisture is reached, ranged from 28 to 38%. It is known that kernel moisture at maturity can be different depending on genetics and growing season weather conditions. For instance, environmental stresses during the grain filling period can cause lower accumulation of dry matter and higher kernel moisture at maturity. The opposite may be true in high yielding environments. Based on this dataset, corn field dry down to 15.5% moisture may take up to 35 days when kernel moisture at maturity is high (38-36%) while when it is low (30-28%) it may take about 25 days (Table 1). It is important to note that these estimates are meant to represent normal fall conditions. Low temperatures ( o F) and/or high humidity (>90% relative humidity) for prolonged periods (>2 or 3 days) can significantly delay dry down. Figure 1. Average grain moisture dry down (blue line) across four hybrid maturities, four dates of planting and three years near Ames, IA. Horizontal dashed line represents 15.5% kernel moisture, open circles are actual data. Corn grain dry down in the field is expected to be at a rate of 0.69% per day in the first 20 days following maturity.
- This can be used to help schedule harvest of fields based on when fields and hybrids reach maturity.
- Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on September 20, 2017. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.
What did the Indians use to grind corn?
Grinding Stones: Prehistoric Food Processing Tools Video Prehistoric and historic Native Americans used grinding stones to process food. Learn more about this technology that allowed people to grind food like corn, which they had dried and stored for later.
1 minute, 55 secondsNPS / Josh Angelini11/05/2020
Multimedia credited to NPS without any copyright symbol are, Multimedia credited with a copyright symbol (indicating that the creator may maintain rights to the work) or credited to any entity other than NPS must not be presumed to be public domain; contact the host park or program to ascertain who owns the material.
What did the Mayans use to grind corn?
Iconography – Two items commonly used by indigenous Mexicans. The mortar is called a Metate and the stone lying across it a Mano. It is held in both hands and used to grind corn, cacao and other basic foods. The three most popular iconographic elements of ceremonial metate seem to be saurian, bird, and jaguar creatures.
- Monkeys are also common.
- A unique feature of ceremonial metate is the lack of human figures.
- Disembodied heads are the sole exception.
- While human figures become the main subject of the free standing sculptures, which depict nude females or male warriors with trophy heads and bound male captives, these do not seem to have been depicted on metate.
Flying-panel metates often have anthropomorphic figures, but these always have animal (often crocodile) heads. In both the Nicoya and Atlantic-Watershed regions, metates are often made with saurian (specifically crocodile, alligator, or caiman) imagery.
It is thought that the saurian represents the surface of the earth, which relates to agricultural fertility. One of the oldest and most prominent themes in Chibcha art is that of the Crocodile god. Depicted as an anthropomorphic being with a crocodile head, he has been carved into fly-panel metates, sometimes shown standing on a double-headed saurian and other times on a jaguar.
As a symbol, the double-headed Saurian has the longest use and distribution of any iconographic element in the Isthmo-Columbian area. Costa Rica flying-panel metates date to the 1st and 7th centuries. However, certain features of the Crocodile god depicted on flying-panel metates show him with unnatural U-shaped elbows and long, narrow fingers, as seen on crocodile gods made in gold that date to the 10th–16th centuries.
These stylistic forms make sense for use in the small gold ornaments made with the lost-wax technique, but seem strange for use in carved stone. Perhaps these metates date much later than previously thought, and were inspired by the depictions in gold. Birds with long, curving beaks that seem to represent vultures, toucans or maybe hummingbirds are another popular theme.
First found in Costa Rica on Pavas and El Bosque-phase pottery, these are a common element in flying-panel metates, sometimes depicted with or pecking at human heads.
What tool is used to grind corn into meal?
Mexican Cooking Utensils: Metate and Molcajete Do you feel inspired to make Mexican food in the most authentic way possible? Learn what the Metate and the Molcajete are and how to use them in the traditional Mexican way. We’ll give you a historical perspective on these ancient (yet essential!) cooking tools while explaining how and what they are used for today.
While most families in Mexico have modern kitchen appliances such as food processors and blenders, there are still a few ancient, yet essential tools that are must-haves! These are tools that have been used for generations to master certain techniques, many of which were developed by the ancient indigenous civilizations in what is now Mexico.
One of these ancient indigenous tools is the metate, In some circles the metate is referred to as the ” liquadora Azteca” or the “Aztec blender “. It is a slightly sloped (but mostly flat) grinding slap with a rectangular shape that is made from basalt stone. The bowl-like curve of the metate in the upper surface is formed over time by the grinding of materials. Apart from corn, metates are also commonly used to crush cacao, and to make pinole – a powder made from crushed cocoa, agave, cinnamon, chia seeds, and vanilla for use in baked goods, cereals, beverages and more.
- Because corn is, and always has been, one of the most essential crops in Mexico, it is estimated that the Mayan and Aztec civilizations have used the metate for more than 6,000 years to grind corn kernels.
- If you are interested in reading more about the importance of corn in Mexican food culture then click,) Now back to the metate! While there are still many families that use a metate to crush their nixtamalized corn for tortillas, the use of masa harina (corn flour) has become an easier and less time-consuming method.
Another ancient tool that is indigenous to Mexico is a molcajete. A molcajete is, much like a mortar, a type of grinding stone that is used with a pestle called a tejolote, Molcajetes are bowl-shaped and are often made from volcanic stone. They’re used for grinding chilies, garlic, tomatoes, and other ingredients that are commonly used in Mexican cuisine. Like the metate, it is estimated that molcajetes have been used for thousands of years in Mexico, and to this day, it is still one of the most efficient tools for grinding small amounts of spices and other ingredients. The molcajete is especially great for making guacamole, salsas, and marinades as all of the ingredients can be crushed and served in the same place.
- Molcajetes can also be used as a cooking tool to serve warm dishes and sauces.
- This is done by heating up the molcajete over an open fire or hot coals.
- When using a molcajete for the first time it is important to cure the surface before preparing any food in it – if not, small particles from the rock will end up in your food.
In order to cure a molcajete, you need to smoothen the surface. Because molcajetes are made from volcanic rocks, which are quite porous, it is not recommended to use soap to wash a molcajete, as the soap will sink into the rock affecting the taste of the food that you prepare in it.