Thank You, Tamale Man

About once a year or so, we manage to be home when the door-to-door tamale salesman comes calling. This year, a friend of ours who was visiting our house answered the door. We heard him say, “No, thanks,” figured out who had knocked, and went sprinting down the street barefoot after the tamale man. I would rather have glass in my foot and some tamales than a glass-free foot and no tamales.

I’m really picky about tamales. I don’t know what this guy does to the masa, but it’s salty, flavorful and moist. He walks around Barelas with a cooler full of the delicious things and sells them by the half dozen. We buy heaps and don’t freeze them. We just eat them three meals a day until they’re gone.

I was telling someone about the tamale man, and he said something to the effect of “You don’t know what he’s putting in those things. There’s no one checking his sanitation,” blah blah blah. This guy could be filling his tamales with elephant meat in the back of a garbage truck, and I would still be a devotee.

Be on the lookout for an older guy with a cowboy hat and a rolling cooler with a handle. Best tamales on planet Earth, no exaggeration.