Ship me some Texas Tomales!
December 18, 2003 11:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find something unique to cap off my Christmas gift-giving this year, and my boyfriend has always wept at the memory of the tamales of his Texas youth. I'm now obsessed with finding him the most delicious ones in the universe. Anybody have any recommendations for a place that'll ship awesome tamales? I've seen the results of a google search for shippable goodies, but the tamales I give have to be great. Surely someone here knows. Do tell!
posted by kittyb to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Texas Monthly covered tamales in their November 2001 issue (Google cached), and gave a list of mail-order tamale companies. Being from S.A., I think they short-changed how good Alamo city tamales are, but hey.
posted by Avogadro at 11:57 AM on December 18, 2003

I love Berryhill tamales, and they will ship them.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:59 AM on December 18, 2003

Guerra's is also very, very good.
posted by Avogadro at 12:05 PM on December 18, 2003

It has been my experience that food from one's youth never tastes quite as good as remembered, so be ready for some possible disappointment. On the other hand, what really make food like this special (and I too love tamales) is the homemade aspect of it: have you considered making some yourself? Although somewhat labor intensive, they freeze well so you can make a bunch. Also, the ingredients are not too exotic; I can find everything I need here in Augusta, GA, which is not exactly the center of the culinary universe.
posted by TedW at 1:08 PM on December 18, 2003

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! And to answer your question, TedW, I'm considering it -- I'm in Baltimore, but I've seen all the stuff I'd need at even the more mainstream grocers around here. Definitely a possibility!
posted by kittyb at 1:12 PM on December 18, 2003

Berryhill's are the bomb.
posted by pomegranate at 1:25 PM on December 18, 2003

Thanks for these leads, I just ordered some berryhill's for xmas (I'll report back after I try them).

I miss handmade tamales the day after xmas in southern california.
posted by mathowie at 4:34 PM on December 18, 2003

Around here (Denver) we have several little shops that make tamales. Usually they make tamales, and maybe tortillas, but not much else. The flavor depends on the shop and what you like. The downtown shop my husband likes makes them incredibly spicy. The reds are terribly hot and I can't even eat their green tamales. There is a shop I prefer out near us (NE suburbs) that makes them MUCH milder. Still spicy, but tolerably so.
posted by Shoeburyness at 11:56 PM on December 18, 2003

Let me second the notion to try making them yourself. It's actually very easy, using the directions right off the bag of masa mix (almost certainly available at your nearest medium-large grocer). And when you get the first batch of traditional pork tamales under your belt, you'll see how simple the filling is, and you'll have fun creating your own. My wife's current favorite is Krab stick and salad shrimp tamales.

They freeze exceptionally well, too, so you can spend a Saturday afternoon making a couple months' worth. Yum!
posted by ewagoner at 7:51 AM on December 19, 2003

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