A ginger-peach sweet tamale and a wrapped fignana tamale
I wrote about La Guera Tamalera, the White Girl Tamale Maker right after I met her at a tamale making class so that people could order tamales in time for Christmas. I finally got to try them when she kindly dropped some off the other day. Deborah learned how to make tamales from a family in Veracruz, Mexico, and that's why her tamales are tied on the ends, because that's the Veracruz style.
Maybe it's because I'm a white girl too, but these are my favorite tamales, like, ever. Don't get me wrong -- I love all the traditional pork tamale fillings, masa made with lard and all that, but I don't often eat those kind of tamales because they're just too filling and heavy for this white girl. These tamales are completely different -- the organic, non-GMO masa is light and has its own distinctly nutty flavor, rather than just being an enclosure for the filling. I tried:
Chicken: this flavorful filling is made with free-range chicken in a tomatillo sauce,
Spinach and shitake mushroom: A vegan variety that I liked even better than the chicken; have one of each for a complete meal of veggies and meat.
Sweet tamales were even better, and made a wonderful breakfast fresh out of the steamer.
Fignana: The fig part is subtle; this one is basically like the best super-moist piece of banana bread you've ever had.
Peach/ginger: This was my favorite, since it had that tangy thing going on with the sweet, earthy masa. It's like a fruity gingerbread.
La Guera's other flavors include locally-raised pork in red sauce, jalapeno & cheese and butternut squash.
While Deborah makes appearances everywhere from The Verdugo to the Atwater Christmas Festival, right now home delivery is the best option, at $58 a dozen. They will also be available at Locali on Franklin when it opens in the next few weeks.