Banana leaves, not corn husks

Not only are the hojas in which tamales from Oaxacan Tamaleo are wrapped banana leaves, rather than the husks to which we’re more accustomed; each of these tamales is about four times bigger. The masa is finer, as well, in these flat, not cylindrical, treats. It’s reported that there’s no lard or shortening; there’s certainly no lack of flavor.

We tried two varieties: the pork in salsa verde and the chicken in red mole. There is no “sauce.” The filling is suffused with salsa verde or with the finest of mole flavors. Both were delicious, and I thought that the mole was a special treat, because of its subtlety and complexity.

The owners are often to be found at the downtown farmers’ market. We happened to be up near the immaculate Tamaleo headquarters, at 1300 West Anderson Lane (west of North Lamar, on the north side of the street), sharing space with La Chica, a tienda with a full rack of revistas in Spanish, including the small serial paperbacks that aren’t sold everywhere. On some Wednesday, a trip is planned to sample that day’s special, alb

2 Comments so far

  1. F.E. (unregistered) on December 13th, 2005 @ 1:10 pm

    I tried these at the farmer’s market — the banana leaves were cool, but I didn’t think the tamales tasted like anything special.

  2. Rantor (unregistered) on December 13th, 2005 @ 2:11 pm

    What I’d say is that they’re a different style entirely from what we’re used to around here traditionally. Which variety/ies did you try? Personally, I *like* tamales made with lard, plus with coarse masa, coarsely shredded pork, anchos, jalapenos, etc. I do think that the mole was very tasty and I’d like to try that mole in a luncheon dish. Turkey mole is the Thursday lunch special. Yes; definitely a different style, and each tamal is about four times the standard Austin / San Antonio size.

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