If you ask Edith about making tortillas, there’s a good chance she’ll flash a big smile and show you both of her hands.

“Look,” she’ll say, two palms toward the sky, “my hands are so soft, they’re completely smooth—it’s like a natural exfoliant, just working each day with tortillas.”

Start your day at Arbol restaurant, and you’ll find Edith most days of the week as she masterfully crafts exquisite tortillas at the tortilla bar, set outdoors.

Down in Acapulco, she says, all the tortillas were made from white corn, but here at Arbol, in Nayarit, she proudly displays corn of all different colors, from reds the shade of Cabernet, to purples, blues, and traditional whites that burst with flavor in each kernel.

Corn, as she’ll tell you, is much more than just a staple food crop for many people in Mexico. It’s a life-giving plant and a huge source of pride, where any farmer with corn in their garden is blessed with endless fortune.

Most meals in Mexico—breakfast included—feature corn tortillas that are made into sopes, empanadas, quesadillas, or tacos, and as Edith will tell you while kneading masa, or small, round balls of dough, you can taste the difference, even feel the difference, between tortillas that are hecho de mano (made by hand), versus those you might find in a store.

Edith points out that there’s nothing artificial about freshly handmade tortillas, just a little splash of water and dough made from corn—no butter, no gluten, no oil.

And, even with all the joy received from introducing guests to freshly made food that’s proudly part of her culture, Edith also admits there’s one part of her job she might love the most:

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