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Sep 2, 2009 02:28 PM

McCarren Park Quimbolitos

There's a quimbolitos vendor I've come across a few times who sells these steamed, sweet, leaf-wrapped Ecuadorian cakes on the northeastern side of the McCarren Park running track. The cakes are decorated with raisins and faintly spiced.

Has anyone had these and if so, could you say with reasonable certainty that these cakes are made of corn flour and not wheat?

Most recipes I've seen use corn flour and achira (taro) leaves. I'm pretty sure that the ones I've seen are wrapped in banana leaves, though, and the texture seems like it's wheat-based to me. I'd love a second opinion before I try eating one.

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  1. When's the likeliest time to come across this vendor?

    2 Replies
    1. re: DaveCook

      I've seen her there on weekend and weekday afternoons and weekday early evenings. But I don't live in the area, so I'm not sure what her regular schedule is. She speaks Spanish, but no English. Usually there are a few younger men who sit near her and translate for non-Spanish speaking customers. Quimbolitos are $2 a piece. She also sells a snack mix that includes corn nuts and other fried ingredients.

      1. re: DaveCook

        hehe, dave, i can just picture you drooling while staking her out. sounds good cimui; are these found anywhere else?

        incidentally, picked up 5 of my favorite oaxaqueno tamales from my go-to spot (138th between willis and 3rd ave), mother and son who are located west of another tamale cart that sets up right next to them (the nerve!) but theirs is the best: mole de pollo, actual spicy green one with pork and red one with chicken. $2 for a monster.

        but! they also sell sweet tamales which he said had raisins, cinnamon, some other stuff. didn't get any but they sound good. figuring they are tamales, probably made of masa and steamed. related? interesting, the large oaxaqueno tamales were wrapped in what i assumed were banana leaves, but they were so smooth that it seemed like something else; definitely a large leaf tho.

        this cart is consistently there on the weekends but they might also be there on weekdays. $1.25 for a wonderful regular tamale (also a handful of flavors; the cheese one is pretty spicy!), $2 for the oaxaqueno and they can also throw the tamales on a roll i(con pan) f you are about to do some serious caloric depletion.