Tamales at Costco
I've read that some people here in Austin think the tamales at Costco are some of the best around. Has anyone here tried them? What is the brand name? Are they fresh or frozen and do they always have them or just a holiday time?
I think you're referring Padrino's tamales. If so, they're alright. They're very large and have an abundance of masa which is made fluffy with baking powder. They're also decently spiced. I'll eat them because they're not terrible, but be aware, I have high standards and am used to a certain sort.
I grew up eating good, homemade tamales that are made in the Northern Mexican style. Pork is the only filling anybody in my family has ever cared about. The best have a good amount of very tender pork shredded and stewed with puree made from reconstituted dried red chiles. Some of the stewing liquid is mixed in with the masa, which is spread sparingly on the corn husks. They're then filled with a good amount of pork so that there's more pork than masa, but still enough masa to enclose the pork. The masa is not leaden, but is certainly not fluffy. The best ones I've ever had came from my husband's cousin who grew up in Coahuila.
Padrino's are a far cry from what I've just described, but they'll do. Might I suggest that you give Tamales Leo inside Pablito's Bakery on Braker just east of I-35? They're a little too fluffy for my taste, but the size is more appropriate and they're made with care.
Not to highjack your thread but has anyone tried Pedro's tamales lately? They were sold at Randalls, made in Lubbock, and used to be absolutely awesome but the last couple of times I tried them they were not very impressive.
I'd love to find a easily obtained tamale that isn't horribly greasy and fairly priced.