Our Tico friend Alan recently gave us a tamale that his grandmother had cooked. This is the same friend that gave us the back of beans to shuck and eat which we enjoyed so much. Alan is awesome. But look, I’ve never liked tamales. They seem to be so much filling starch with so little taste, and the filling never seems sufficient to make up for that huge corn-based deficit. Until today.

Today I learned what a real tamale is. It is pure joy, wrapped in a banana leaf. It was simply the most delicious thing I’ve had in a very very long time. Alan told us to slice and fry it, so we obliged. At lunch Katie and I ate half of it, and the kids devoured the rest at dinner.

This is a large tamale.
Unwrapping the lovely banana leaves. What great biodegradable packaging!
There it is.
Slice it. Egg and beans in the center. Chicken broth adds flavor to the masa shell.
Fry it. Oh my.

When we gushed about this delicacy to Alan, and asked him what was in the masa, he admitted, truthfully that only his grandmother knows.

We are now applying ourselves to collecting more such tamales.