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Vegetarian Tamales

SNDP Nov 19, 2007 11:56 AM

Where could I find freshly prepared home style vegetarian tamales (cheese, vegetables, peppers) in the East Bay to serve and to freeze for later? Thanks in advance.

  1. Glencora Nov 19, 2007 12:17 PM

    Don't tamales always contain lard?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Glencora
      larochelle Nov 19, 2007 01:51 PM

      Traditional (& best) ones do. But lately I've been noticing "nuevo" and "fresh Cal-Mex" places offering vegetarian tamales made without lard - I think they use vegetable oil.

    2. s
      SNDP Nov 19, 2007 12:35 PM

      Sorry to clarify. The lard is fine - we just do not wish to have pork or chicken stuffing. Thanks.

      3 Replies
      1. re: SNDP
        Neilo Nov 19, 2007 01:50 PM

        Lard does not a vegetarian tamale make! And by no means do tamales have to contain lard. It may be harder to make a good tamale with vegetable shortening, but they exist. For example. Primavera at the Ferry Building Farmer's market uses no pork derived lubricants to create their relatively tasty tamales. Sorry, no east bay recommendation, just a comment.

        1. re: Neilo
          Fig Newton Nov 19, 2007 03:13 PM

          Primavera uses butter instead of lard.

          1. re: Neilo
            rworange Nov 19, 2007 04:11 PM

            Primavera sells at the Tuesday Berkeley Farmers Market.

        2. r
          rln Nov 19, 2007 03:12 PM

          I've bought vegetarian tamales at Tacubuya in Fouth Street. They are sweet potato or pumpkin, wrapped in banana leaves, if I recall correctly. I've frozen them and they keep just fine.

          When I asked, they did not use lard for these.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rln
            chemchef Nov 19, 2007 03:58 PM

            I recently had a squash tamale from Tacubaya that was great! No lard, no meat, and I'm not even vegetarian! It wasn't traditional by any means, but it was darned good!

          2. Xiao Yang Nov 19, 2007 03:41 PM

            All-Star Tamales! Their tamales are very good, IMHO, and they have six different fillings that meet your specefications (the last six on their menu), assuming you really are OK with lard.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Xiao Yang
              Rain Q Jun 28, 2008 09:27 AM

              All Star Tamales do not use lard F.Y.I. They use vegetable soy bean oil in all of their tamales.

            2. y
              yerioy Nov 19, 2007 05:34 PM

              Look for Donna's Tamales at the Temescal Farmer's Market and at the Ferry Plaza one, too. Look online to see the ingredients and other locations to purchase them.


              2 Replies
              1. re: yerioy
                Xiao Yang Nov 19, 2007 06:15 PM

                I've found Donna's Tamales to be disappointingly bland, to tell the truth.

                1. re: Xiao Yang
                  lmnopm Nov 19, 2007 07:20 PM

                  Some of the Primavera varieties are great. Monterey Market generally carries several varieties.

              2. r
                Rain Q Jun 27, 2008 03:29 PM

                All Star Tamales Vegan Tamales are truly vegan. They dont use lard in any of their Tamales and each one is wrapped in a freezer, microwave safe, foodsafe polywrap. You can buy them warm or cold for freezing. Made fresh.

                1. r
                  rahir Jun 27, 2008 04:37 PM

                  I like both Primavera and Donna's Tamales. Some Whole Foods stores carry Primavera tamales (try near the pre-packaged deli slices aisle).

                  Also, Flacos at the Berkeley Farmers Markets' sells vegan tamales, and you can contact them ahead of time to possibly arrange bulk or a multiple tamale purchase (for heating later): http://www.flacos.com.

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