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Dec 1, 2012 10:01 PM

Tamale supplies in Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area?


It is tamales season and I am looking for some supplies. Looking for some local help.
In the past I gotten stuff from and but last year I was not pleased with the products I was sent and El Chavo was always closed when we drove there. Would like to shop local if I can.

Looking for:
FRESH masa not the dry stuff you can get at most stores.
Hojas (Corn Husks)
Manteca (Morrell Snow Cap if available
)Dried New Mexico Red Chiles (a nice big bag of these would be helpful as in most specialty they come in way too small bags for too many monies)


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  1. It's gotten to the point where you can buy husks at Star Market. My most recent batch came from my neighborhood bedega, La Favorita at the corner of Harvard and Farrington in Allston.

    I buy my lard at Savenors for short money -- locally rendered, and the flavor and texture blows Morrell (which was my go-to for decades) out of the water.

    I still have not found a reliable source for fresh masa hereabouts, unfortunately. And for that matter, I usually still import my dried chiles, supplemented with ones from Penzeys.

    1. The only place I've seen mentioned that has fresh masa at retail is Tesoro Market in Framingham. A few months back zonagirl posted to say that she found it there. I'd definitely call first if you decide to go. I haven't made it there yet so I can't speak from personal experience. You could also ask about the lard and chiles.

      La Nina Tortilleria was both retail and wholesale for fresh masa the brief time they were in Chelsea but since they moved to Everett have gone strictly wholesale. Might be worth a call, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bear

        Thanks will try those out, I am now excited I have not had fresh masa in years and local manteca sounds awesome I must try it out.

      2. haven't seen fresh masa but purchased corn husks for my tamale party at Market Basket.

        1. Fresh masa is a tough one around here. Even many of the mexican restaurants that make their own tortillas (Rosa Mexicano, La Verdad, etc.) use dried masa harina, to my knowledge. A friend of mine however, who made a dinner with spectacular sopes recently, indicated that he got fresh masa at Maria and Ricardo's Tortilla Factory in Canton. I dont think they have a retail outlet there, but perhaps if you call ahead they will sell you some.

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