Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Best Tamales in the World?

I'm underqualified to make this claim. Tamales, when I was growing up, came from a can, and were wrapped in paper. I hated them, and never ate them again until I was in my 30s.

Great tamales are unique among food. Their texture is moist, yet crumbly, with chunks of chewy pork to make them earthy and substantial. The subtle sweetness of the corn meal makes the sweet pork sing, and the spices add a bass line that pulls the whole thing up to a different level.

The tamales at Habaneros on Troost near 63rd are tamales at their best. The corn meal (masa harina, actually - we've even made our own tamales, despite our Iriah-Polish-German heritage) wraps the fall-apart tender chunks of pork in perfect balance. The sauce and cheese on top complement that pork and corn wonderfully. They come unwrapped, though you can see them pulled from their traditional corn husks if you watch the guy in the kitchen, and that only means that you don't have to do the unwrapping yourself, with the attendant mess.At a buck fifty each, this may be the lowest priced highest quality food in Kansas City,

Because of my limited experience and gringo heritage, I'm hesitant to make the claim that needs to be made. The tamales at Habaneros on Troost are the best in the universe. If I'm wrong, prove it to me by bringing me better ones.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If I'm wrong, prove it to me by bringing me better ones."

I think you're just trying to get free food. :-)

7/26/2006 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Oops. That was me.

7/26/2006 9:16 AM  
Blogger les said...

You hit it, Andrea. Base pandering for favors. And to think of the respect I once had for Dan...oh, wait a minute, no I didn't. Damn, wish I'd thought of that...

7/26/2006 4:44 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Andrea - you saw right through me.

7/26/2006 8:15 PM  
Blogger pomegranate said...

OH man!! I'm all in now. At Pancho's I never leave without having eaten a tamale. I'm heartbroken when they inform me they're out.

7/27/2006 2:13 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

I might be wrong here, but I think you like the food at Habanero's.

7/27/2006 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No restaurant has "the best tamales in the world". The reason is the process is taken from around 12 hours to 3 hours or so. So while they are good if you want "the best tamales in the world" find a cook at one of the restaurants around X-mas time and ask them where you can find a dozen tamales home made. Then you'll realize.

7/27/2006 6:25 PM  

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