Masa harina is the corn flour used by Latin Americans to make corn tortillas. If you live in the west or southwest US it's available in regular grocery stores. Maseca is a brand that's widely available. If you try baking with masa harina it gives the finished goods a very pronounced corn tortilla flavor, which I don't care for since I associate that flavor with corn tortillas and nothing else.

Producing masa harina involves a process called nixtamalization. What I don't understand is that hominy is also produced by using nixtamalization but hominy and hominy grits don't have that characteristic corn tortilla flavor that you get with masa harina. Does anyone know why?

Here are some relevant links:



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    "Latin America" is a huge region. Most "Latin Americans" have never seen a corn tortilla. Nov 9, 2015 at 2:01

1 Answer 1


Masa harina is quite simply dried and ground hominy.

As to why masa tastes more corny than hominy? I don't know, perhaps grinding it allows more of that internal flavor to be available to your taste buds. As well, masa is either baked or fried to make tortillas, and that cooking process likely enhances the corn flavor the same way that bread toast has an enhanced malt flavor than untoasted bread.

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