Corn Reborn

Three Sisters Nixtamal brings back old-school tortilla-making STORY BY MATTIE JOHN BAMMAN PHOTOS BY NASHCO "What's done in here is how it's been done for thousands of years," says Pedro Ferbel-Azcárate, co-owner of the Portland-based artisan tortilla and masa company, Three Sisters Nixtamal. Standing over a huge vat of organic heirloom corn submerged in water at the Three Sisters Nixtamal facility in Southeast Portland, he's making corn tortillas the old-fashioned way — the really old-fashioned way. Three Sisters Nixtamal makes its tortillas using the crucial nixtamalization process, which gives the tortillas their heady heirloom corn flavor. Without it, you end up with the rather flavorless corn disks proliferating on grocery shelves. It's the difference between a beer and a microbrew, grocery-store white bread and...

Proven Pearings

STORY AND RECIPE BY ELLEN D. JACKSON PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHARITY BURGGRAFF I speak from experience when I say that a pastry chef’s palette of seasonal ingredients is crowded with caramel and chocolate browns when winter rolls around. But if you look closely, there are plenty of local options for satisfying your sweet tooth. From the sweet, creamy yellow flesh of a Seckel pear, to the papery mahogany skin of the hazelnut, to the deep, dark brown of extra-dark, bittersweet chocolate, what winter’s offerings lack in bright color and flavor are made up for in richness and texture. In Oregon, pears are the No. 1 fruit crop, and the state ranks third in national production. Washington leads the nation in pear production, providing close...