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Masa Harina close to Amherst, MA

isaac1972 Dec 11, 2008 01:40 PM

My parents have retired in Amherst, and claim that we cannot make tamales at Christmas unless I bring masa from California. Is there a good shop in Western Mass where I might find such staples? Masa is heavy and I'd prefer not to lug it all the way out there.

  1. BerkshireTsarina Dec 15, 2008 03:50 PM

    I went on researching this, because I was pretty sure your parents had a reason for wanting the real fresh stuff from California, and I found this by Rick Bayless of Frontera in Chicago:
    I'm sure you already knew it, but the fresh masa for tamales really does produce a better result .I know it would be the same for tortillas, but it ain't gonna happen, at least for me, in Western MA.
    It's heavy, and it's perishable, and it's hard to find, including on line; your lugging it is at least a sure thing!
    BTW, probably thanks to Rick Bayless, the easiest place to find it after California is----- Chicago.

    1. BratleFoodie Dec 14, 2008 02:47 PM

      Might I suggest goggling 'masa harina buy' or 'purchase' Have it delivered 2 day delivery. No muss, no fuss.

      Enjoy the holidays!

      1. b
        bewley Dec 11, 2008 03:50 PM

        Isn't there an international food market in Hadley? They have an extensive selection of items.

        1. BerkshireTsarina Dec 11, 2008 02:33 PM

          The short answer (in my experience) is NO, there isn't any place I've found to buy actual masa harina prepared. You can buy Maseca brand masa in the supermarkets, to mix with water and make your own, which I do for corn tortillas; but I don't know if it works the same way for tamales. They might ask at Mi Tierra restaurant in Hadley (close to Amherst). Maybe somebody else has had better luck. Or you could do some fast working out to strengthen the arm muscles----

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