Corn Guru

Daniel and Mirra of The Perennial Plate were researching fascinating food stories to investigate during their trip to Mexico, and they encountered multiple people with the same recommendation:

Speak with Amado Ramirez Leyva of the Itanoní Tortillería in Oaxaca.

Amado, they said, is the corn guru.


Photo by Alejandro Linares Garcia via Wikimedia Commons

Renowned chef Rick Bayless is one of those who revere him. “Amado Ramirez Leyva believes that corn, domesticated some 9,000 years ago in Mexico, is the basis of Mexican culture,” says Bayless’ website. “From championing the protection of ancient varieties, to cooking and grinding it into masa for tortillas, Amado just might be the corn guru of Oaxaca.”

Daniel was intrigued. “His restaurant serves only the most traditional of Mexican foods, showcasing the various organic corns, harvested by local Oaxacan farmers in their purest form. But beyond the taste of history and tradition, Amado brings a poetic truth about the power of this ancient grain.”

Watch the resulting video, “The Flower of Corn,” and feel your appreciation for this golden … well, rainbow colored … grain bloom anew.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Such an interesting video clip. I was fascinated with the spirituality of the ancient but still current corn growing process. It reminded me of some of our Native American rituals of planting and understandings of the relationship between the plant and the sustainable life.

  2. Wonderful and poetic video. I watched it first full screen so the subtitles weren’t visible but was able to understand most of what he said anyway. Then watched a second time. Their corn culture is hugely important as this is one of the few places on earth where the corn is still pure and not adulterated by GMO corn. I can’t grow corn for seed selling in my little seed business as I am unable to keep it pure from farms miles away.

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