Marigolds, Cempazuchitl (cempoal-xochitl), meaning the flower of twenty petals in Náhuatl, are traditionally known as flor de muerto or the flower of the dead. From deep reds to bright yellows, the marigold’s blooms can reach up to 2-inches in diameter and a stem up to 3-feet tall. During the pre-Hispanic era, the Aztecs selected this robust flower to cover the altars and take part of burial offerings dedicated to their dead.
Now, this beautiful flower is one of the major protagonists during the celebration on November 1 and 2, All Souls Day and Day of the Dead. Endless garlands are hung on altars as part of the holiday’s offerings to the deceased, denoting strength of sunlight.
Not only is this flower pleasant to look at, but a flavor enhancer to poultry, teas, candies and tortillas. Celebrate Día de Los Muertos with your tortillero filled with these marigold tortillas. They are the perfect accompaniment to the festivity’s mole, cochinita pibil or a simple queso fundido appetizer. ¡Buen provecho!
Tortillas de Cempazuchitl | Marigold Tortillas
Makes 16, 6-inch tortillas
- 2 cups corn flour
- 1 ¼ cups water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups fresh edible marigold petals
In a large mixing bowl, combine corn flour, water and salt. Mix with hands until smooth. If dough sticks to hands, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency.
Heat a comal or skillet over low-medium heat.
Divide dough into 16 separate equal portions and roll each portion into a ball.
Using a tortilla press, flatten each masa ball between to plastic sheets. Open the press and evenly distribute marigold petals on the pressed tortilla. Press the tortilla again gently enough to embed flower petals into the masa.
Place tortilla on hot comal and cook for approximately 1 minute on each side.
Keep tortillas warm in a tortilla warmer or wrapped in a tea towel.