Masa? What is Masa? I get this question a lot more than I truly thought I would. The word "Masa" is Spanish for "dough". The Masa I am talking about is a dried, precooked, ground corn flour. It comes in bags that look like any bag of flour you are familiar with seeing in the store. There are many kinds and brands out there and some cook up a little different than others and it really just becomes a matter of preference, try them all and decide for yourself. You can find them in your local Latino Markets or Asian Markets. If you live in Tulsa, I have found the best selection and prices at Supermercado Morelos.
If you think you want to get out there and cook with Masa you must first decide what it is that you want to make. I think that this is where it might get a little confusing. Masarepa should not be confused wtih masa harina which is for making tortillas and is ground corn that has been treated with lime. Now to confuse you a little more Harina P.A.N. from Venezuela is a Masarepa even though it has the word Harina in the name. The key to determining the difference is to look for the words "precooked". I grew up using Harina P.A.N. which is very popular in Venezuela and Colombia. It is used in making empanadas, areapas, hallacas, and bollos. Look for future blogs on making some of these dishes.
I have to admit that explaining MASA was a little more involved than I originally thought it would be. I have tried to simplify it for you and I do not claim to be an expert on the matter so if you have differing opinions and want to help define Masa, feel free.
-Nacho Taco Truck