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Nov 21, 2013 08:05 AM

Christmas is coming, it's time for tamales!

I'm feeling the need for some good Mexican-style or Tex-Mex tamales. Hell, even so-so tamales would do at this point. Anyone got a source for eat-in, takeout, and hopefully by-the-dozen?

Also, anyone know a place in the greater Boston area to buy a decent tamale steamer, other than Wal-Mart?


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  1. Tenoch in Medford and Taco Loco in East Somerville often but not always have them. I've never tried them, so can't speak to quality.

    1. Boco grande mass ave in north cambridge has them on their menu, I thought they were good but no expert $6 a piece.

      Would the steamer in chinatown markets work for tamale's?? maybe not as tall as some I have seen on the web.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lc02139

        That's good to know about Boca Grande in North Cambridge -- the one in Brighton Center no longer has them, alas.

        Re: the steamer, I don't know because I've never made tamales with a proper steamer, only really difficult hacks that I resorted to when the craving for tamales got too bad. It doesn't have to be an official tamale steamer, but I'd like to find something that does the job well and isn't a big hassle to use, and I'm not sure what that is.

      2. Antojito's in Waltham does a very respectable one.

        1. I'm pretty sure I saw stackable tamale steamers at the Chelsea market basket. In the back, near the meat counters.

          1. Steamer:
            For all my steaming needs, I use a stackable 2 tier aluminum Chinese steamer i bought in Chtown years ago; 12-14" diam.
            A cheaper/easier to find tool is a broccoli steamer, which can fit 2 small tamales, but, unless you raise it up on a can etc, you can only fit an inch or so of water in the bottom of the pot and you have to watch it so you don't burn up the water before the tamales are done.

            Many diff style tamales. In addition to those alrdy mentioned, TrJ sells very good inexp. frozen tamales. For a very diff experience, the Peruvian Pollo las Brasas in Union Sq. sells a very large $4 tamale wrapped in a banana leaf; very very moist and filled with meat, hard boiled egg, olives (iirc). It is more flavorful than most others because the masa has been cooked with a meat broth, giving the masa a deep color and much more flavor than the tamales where the masa is cooked with water.) That Mexican place in Union Sq also sells tamales, but i always get those from Pollo las Brasas. (If you go there, remember to take home some of their super Roasted Chicken.)