Homemade Tamales R Us

Homemade Tamales R Us

The question around town is: "Where can I get some homemade tamales?"

For a great many Texans, tamales are a necessity of the holiday season. But the tamales you buy in the grocery store are usually disappointing. And while we all love the giant dollar a piece tamales at Doña Tere, they aren't the kind of Tex-Mex tamales most of us grew up with. Seems like tamale ladies used to be everywhere this time of the year, selling aluminum foil-wrapped bundles for six or eight bucks apiece. But I haven't seen any tamale vendors on the street this year. Where did they all go anyway?

Well I finally figured it out.

In a word, Craigslist.

Where do go to look for a used barbecue smoker? Or a second hand lawnmower? Craigslist of course. I searched the term "tamales" on the Houston page of Craigslist the other day -- and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a whole bunch of ads placed by homemade tamale makers. The prices ranged from 6 bucks a dozen to 12 bucks a dozen and most of them offered delivery to your front door within 24 hours. I immediately e-mailed a tamale maker and ordered two dozen.

Homemade pork tamales for $7 bucks a dozen were delivered to my door within 5 hours.

The guy who came to the door told me he lived in my neighborhood and said he and his wife were retired and they made tamales for a hobby. The tamales were exceptionally meaty and very spicy. I wouldn't have minded a little more manteca in the masa. The only problem I ran into was that two of the tamales had some undercooked spots were the masa was still raw. An easy flaw to fix if you steam the tamales a little when you heat them up. They were good enough to order again, but I think I'll try some of the other tamale makers on Craigslist first -- there were quite a few. 

Homemade Tamales R Us

---Robb Walsh

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >