I want to have a go at nixtamalizing some corn. Upon doing some research I figured I could find the lime (calcium hydroxide) that's traditionally used for the process at the local international food market. Turns out all they sold was something called 'carbonato', which I'm pretty sure is just calcium carbonate. The lady at the store did tell me that people often buy it for boiling/processing corn, but I know enough food chemistry to know they wont' do the same thing. A similar search of the three big grocery stores in town for the lime turned up nothing.
So I thought I might be able to devise a substitution based on things I have on hand. I read you can make something similar to nixtamal with food-grade sodium hydroxide, (which I happen to have in abundance) but according to that recipe, when made with sodium hydroxide in place of calcium hydroxide, the flavor "has the bite of soda, and it lacks the rich corn chip fragrance of corn steeped in slacked [sic] lime".
My question is: before I go ahead and order some lime online, is there a possibility that a mixture of sodium hydroxide and some form of soluble calcium could give me the same or similar results (alkalinity and the right flavor) as lime? I have calcium sulfate and calcium chloride on hand, which will readily supply calcium in solution, and could easily pick up calcium carbonate.
My (very basic) chemical understanding is that, in solution, sodium hydroxide + calcium chloride would be roughly analogous to calcium hydroxide + sodium chloride, since they provide the same ions and are all soluble.
Could anyone weight in on this? Could this possibly be better aimed at the Chemistry SE?