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Apr 27, 2007 07:47 AM

Does Las Palmas have prepared masa for tamales?

I want to make tamales but I'm really not up for making the masa. Does Las Palmas in the Mission have it with the fat already added? Do I have to add stock as well or is it ready to cook as is? Do other places in SF have it?
I've seen prepared masa around the holidays in my supermarket but I shudder to think what is in there.

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  1. La Palma does sell masa. I'm not sure what you have to do/add to it, though I assumed that it's all ready, and all you have to do is stuff the tamales (they also sell the corn husks there). If you try it, I'd be curious to hear how they come out.

    Dave MP

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dave MP

      La Palma's masa is technically "all ready" but the one time I bought it, I found it too dense so I ended up putting in the mixer and beating the hell out of it. And thus concluded that it was barely any less effort than making my own and a lot more expensive.

    2. They have a few types of prepared masa, which are posted on the counter. Someone there can probably help you decide what you need if you're not familiar with the terminology.

      1. I get the kind WITHOUT lard and add my own butter and broth -- so much better.
        I ask for "Masa Simple Quebrada"
        I love the cookbook "Tamales 101" by Alice Guadalupe Tapp - I bought it at Barnes & Noble.
        I use the book's recipe for tomatillo sauce and make a tamale with fresh roasted poblano chile and goat cheese - very yum!

        3 Replies
        1. re: walker

          I was with her until she says that her recommended fat is margarine! I lost complete faith. I would assume the prepped masa has La Palma's own fabulous lard in it.

          1. re: Earl Grey

            In her cookbook, she says she uses half butter, half margarine. The first time, I made one batch with the lard already in the masa, the second batch, I followed her recipe of butter/margarine. I did not like the lard one. All subsequent times I've used only butter and chicken broth and it's delicious, we all prefer it. Other than the margarine thing, it's a good cookbook, easy to read and follow. Just try both ways and see what you think.

            1. re: walker

              I actually recommended that book until I started 'using' it. It is a good intro to tamales if you don't know much. However, when you take a close look at the ingrediants ... not so much. What kills me is the use of jack cheese through the book and no easy cross reference, if any, to the Mexican cheese it is replacing.

              Azteca market on 4th St in San Rafael (across from Sol Foods) has prepared masa but I don't know what is in it.