Tamales 101

What’s the telltale sign that someone is a real chef? According to Estela Caldeza (in red shirt, above), it’s all in the dishes. At last week’s Tamale Class at Kitchen Inc., the Nibble cooking instructor demonstrated the proper technique for folding homemade tamales, captivated her audience with tales of her hometown, Durango — and waxed on poetically about dishwashing. That’s right, dishwashing. As she sees it, for real cooks, doing dishes isn’t a chore, it’s an intrinsic part of cooking – which has it’s own beauty & beat: “siente la musica del agua, el ritmo de las ollas golpeandas” (You feel the music of the water, the rhythm of the clanging pots). If only we all looked at dishes that way!

In addition to an appreciation of dirty pots and pans, students left our first class of our Global Comfort Winter Cooking Series with a broader appreciation for the culture behind the Mexican husk-wrapped dumpling – and a few kitchen tricks to tuck up their sleeves. Some fun facts we learned about tamales:

  •  Tamales, can be eaten any time of day, but are most commonly a breakfast food.
  • Tamales take a lonngggg time to cook. Even though you can encounter a tamale vendor on every street corner, most families don’t take the time to make these at home, unless it’s the holidays – it’s just too labor intensive!
  • There are many different types of tamales – each region has its own variation! The type of tamales we made were wrapped in dried Corn Husks, but Oaxacan tamales, for example, are wrapped in banana leaves.
  • The secret to Estela’s rich masa dough? Adding homemade broth to moisten the mixture.

Want to try your own hand at making Tamales? Check out THIS awesome blog post on how to make them at home – with a little help from some friends.


Upcoming Tamale Breakfast Pop-Ups!


TamaleFlierWideCOLORsmallIf you missed out on this tamale class – not to worry! More tamales are headed your way with Estela’s second pop-up Tamaleria on Febuary 14th. After a wildly successful first breakfast at Kitchen Inc. in December, the budding entrepreneur has decided to launch a series of pop-ups: she’ll be bringing her homemade tamales to Union Square the second Saturday of every month. For just $10, sample 2 types of tamalaes (including a rich Mole, Salsa Verde, Chocolate, or Piña) and a traditional Mexican beverage (café de olla or warm ponche).

Doors Open at 10 am, and we sell til’ we run out.

Her next pop-up is just in time for St. Valentine’s Day. Show some love for Nibble and bring your sweetie out for a tasty tamale on Valentine’s Day!

The Deets:

What: Authentic Mexican Tamale Breakfast
When: Every Second Saturday: Feb 14, Mar 14, April 11, May 9
Where: Kitchen Inc, 201 Somerville Ave
Doors open @ 10 am
2 Tamales + Hot Beverage = $10
Early Bird Gets the Tamale!