I enjoyed the educational pieces – and the tortilla making, of course! Seeing the calcium reaction was very cool. My highlights were taking the corn kernels off the cob (by hand and using the round disc) and grinding the corn into masa by hand/using the volcanic rock.
Saving Native Corn: Tortilla Class & Workshop
Unique “Only in Mexico” Experience
Corn tortillas are the bedrock of Central Mexican cooking, but several native Mexican corn strains are now in danger of disappearing. In this unique workshop and class, you’ll learn the history and importance of Mexican corn and what’s needed to save the heirloom strains from extinction. You’ll also make your own tortillas under the guidance of a true expert, known as a maestra tortillera.
Make tortillas with a maestra tortillera, or master woman tortilla-maker
Observe and participate hands-on in the journey from dried corn kernels to the tortilla itself
Learn why native Mexican corn is so important and worth preserving
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Children (8-13): $39
Looking to go private? Private tour option $40 per adult available at check-out. Subject to availability.
Availability & departure time
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10AM and 4PM
Friday, Saturday: 4PM
Cal y Maíz, Málaga 94, Colonia Mixcoac
2 to 2.5 hours
Minimum 2 people, maximum 8 people
- The workshop and cooking class
- A large homemade quesadilla, homemade tortillas and salsa (enough for a heavy snack)
- One agua fresca
- One Mexican microbrew per person
- Tips for the Cal y Maíz staff
- Transport to/from Cal y Maíz
- Tip for your guide
- Additional personal beverages, outside what’s included on the tour itinerary
What to bring
- Comfortable clothing
- Tip for your guide if desired (we also offer the option of pre-paying a tip at checkout)
- An umbrella during the rainy season months (June through October), particularly for the afternoon sessions
- Cash (around 300 pesos) or a credit card if you want to buy extra tortillas or other gourmet products at the end of the experience
Guests must be able to walk up a flight of stairs. This experience is open to adults and children 8 and older.
Staff for this experience
This tour is led by Rigel Sotelo, the owner of Cal y Maíz and an expert on tortilla-making and native Mexican corn. He’ll be assisted by Remedios Lozano, a maestra tortillera (master woman tortilla-maker) who oversees all of the business’s tortilla production.
On this tour, led by Cal y Maíz owner Rigel Sotelo, you’ll first be greeted with refreshments while you listen to a short, engaging lecture on why Mexican corn matters and how heirloom corn strains are disappearing. From there you’ll learn how to shuck dried corn off the cob, and you’ll try grinding your own heirloom corn on the metate, an ancestral Mexican volcanic-rock grinding stone.
You’ll get an inside look at Cal y Maiz’s colorful corn strains that are sourced from small Mexican farms. And you’ll watch how the kernels transform into masa, the nixtamalized corn dough that makes the base of a tortilla.
At the end of the experience, you’ll spend about 30 minutes shaping your own tortillas under the guidance of Remedios Lozano, a maestra tortillera, or master woman tortilla-maker, from the state of Puebla. She’ll show you three different shaping techniques and teach you how to press and cook your tortillas. You’ll eat your own tortillas hot off the grill—as well as a quesadilla prepared by Cal y Maíz staff—as you get to know your fellow participants. You’re welcome to wash it all down with a cold Mexican microbrew, if you wish!
If you’re a home cook who wants to learn more about Mexican food, or you’re simply curious about an ingredient that cuts across all areas of Mexican gastronomy, this experience is for you.
- Wear comfortable, breathable clothing. The class starts with a 20-minute lecture on why native corn matters, and it’s in a small loft space that can run a bit warm. The second part of the class is hands-on learning.
- This tour has enough food for a heavy afternoon snack.
How long is the experience?
2 to 2.5 hours.
How much will I eat?
During this experience you will eat a large homemade quesadilla, homemade tortillas and salsa (enough for a heavy snack) but you may want to eat something light beforehand as well as you may still want an additional dinner later.
Do I need to take cash with me?
You may choose to bring some extra cash, perhaps 300 pesos if you’d like to stay and order more food, or buy some tortillas or other gourmet food products to take home. Cal y Maíz also accepts credit credit cards.
Does the instructor speak English?
Of course! Rigel speaks perfect English. Remedios only speaks Spanish, but Rigel translates.
How do I get to the meeting point?
You can take any ride-share service, which costs around $5 to $7 USD each way from the Roma/Reforma/Centro/Polanco area.
Is the neighborhood safe?
The Mixcoac neighborhood is a quiet, residential area. Cal y Maíz opened their tortillería there in 2018. To date, we’re not aware of any issues with violence or petty theft in the area.
Have more questions? Check out our FAQ page!
See what previous guests have to say
I really enjoyed this workshop and appreciate the important work that Cal y Maíz are doing to sustain heirloom crops. It is an engaging experience to be able to work with the maize itself.
The information was very interesting, to find out that more than one kind of corn exists and how corn is interwoven with the history of Mexico. The info provided helped with understanding of the Mexican culture, which was very interesting to us.