Meet the tamale hunters
Every safari needs a guide. Every guide needs a tamale.
These are the two chicks running the operation…
Hi, I’m Magda and I was born in Los Angeles, California, adjacent. Mixed in with fond childhood memories of dumpster diving and making cool toys with other people’s garbage, are memories of my mother and grandmother slaving over a pot of simmering red chile sauce and punching their fists through mounds of fresh masa. Oh wait. No. That’s a lie.
In my lifetime my crazy grandmother never made tamales and my mom only made them after I allowed her to make a test batch to prove that she could. You see, I am a tamale snob and if you aren’t going to make great tasting tamales, don’t bother.
I can’t even begin to tell you the number of horrible tamales our family received each Christmas from friends and relatives. I’m not going to lie, most of these ended up in the trash not even fit for the dogs. Sadly, I didn’t have the foresight at the time to photograph these vile specimens, slathered with lard and filled with weird organ meats and chunks of fat. (Gawd! If we only had tumblr in the ’70s, I’d be rich.) And then there were the “cheap bastard variety” which amounted to nothing more than dry rolls of masa with barely a smattering of filling. The horror!
Unfortunately, the distasteful practice of bad tamale making persists today not only by friends and relatives, but by restaurants and superstar TV chefs. Rosemary and I hope to be your tamale crash-test dummies. If we don’t like them, move along.
… and now a few words from Rosemary…
It was my good fortune to be born to a Peruvian woman who loved to eat. My mom could cook up a Peruvian storm, but my most memorable moment was coming home from school when I was quite young, only to find her at the kitchen table. There she sat, with a small plate in front of her holding some peppers. And she was crying. I mean crying. The tears were streaming. “What happened” I shouted at her. She looked at me meekly and said she just got a batch of AHI peppers and boy were they good! Hence my sincere appreciation for the delicacies of South America.
But now you ask, what do I know about Tamales? Well, the other important woman in my life was my Godmother Angie. And she lived across the street from us during my formative years, having moved straight from Mexico City. That woman was amazing, teaching me how to Salsa as well as how to make a mean taco. And every year for Christmas, that wonderful woman would make us Tamales. Warm, succulent, divine Tamales. Hence, the remainder of my life seams to be dedicated and destined to find, once again, the perfect Tamale.
Follow our progress on twitter @tamaletweets