I don't think you can take too many classes on tamal making. Each teacher has a slightly different trick or technique and it's always fun to get together and make them.
After a very full day, the guests on the tour made their way to the tamal workshop.
It's always odd that so many of us think nothing of making fresh pasta, or pad thai and yet these key Mexican techniques are so foreign to us and we share a border. I aim to fix that. A good tamal is thing of beauty and worthy of your attention!
Tamal is singular. Tamales are plural. In Spanish, there is no word tamale. I think it's accepted English now, however, and there are much bigger battles to be fought.
Another key reason to take a class is get to know the dough and how wet it should be and what texture. It's really a place where cookbooks can only be so much help.
When it came time to mix the fat in with the masa, Chabela insists it's better by hand and she would never use a mixer. Time for the big guns and Gabriel came in and impressed all with his mixing skills.
Once all the tamales were made and taken to the kitchen for steaming, we all enjoyed a well-deserved bowl of Mole de Olla, a local vegetable and beef stew with the addition of the sour prickly pears, xoconostle. It was pretty grand, proving once again the basis for a good soup or stew is often an incredible broth. It's something you just can't replicate with a store-bought product.