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Tamales 101: A Beginner's Guide to Making Traditional Tamales Paperback – November 12, 2002


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Tamales 101: A Beginner's Guide to Making Traditional Tamales + Tamales Masa Spreader (colors may vary) + Corn Husks (1 lb) by Hoosier Hill Farm
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (November 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580084281
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580084284
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

•Includes 60 food and spot photographs and 15 illustrations showing, step by step, how to spread masa and wrap and tie tamales.

•At Tamara’s Tamales, Alice and her daughter, Tamara, sell hundreds of tamales a day—and have since 1996.

About the Author

Every Saturday, when ALICE GUADALUPE TAPP was only seven years old, she'¬?d help her grandmother make tamales to sell after Sunday mass. Now Alice is co-owner (with her daughter, Tamara) of Tamara'¬?s Tamales in Marina Del Rey, California.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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If you are even thinking about making tamales you should buy this book!
Ashley Henderson
My masa floated, the corn husks peeled off my tamales easily, and they were firm and delicious!
AZ Reader
The recipes were easy to follow and the illustrations were very helpful.
Veronica L. Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 94 people found the following review helpful By AZ Reader on December 21, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A couple of weeks before Christmas, I found myself facing a luncheon for 15 foodie friends for which I'd promised fresh tamales--and my promised helper, the only person I knew who had made them before, came down with the flu! I was on my own.
Fortunately, I had Tamales 101 in hand. Got a few tips from a guy at the local Tamale Festival, but mostly I just devoured this book, took a deep breath, and started. My masa floated, the corn husks peeled off my tamales easily, and they were firm and delicious! I spent over three days cooking and ended up with a cornucopia of Red Chile Pork, Chorizo-Potato, Jalapeno and Cheese, and two kinds of dessert tamales, plus all the salsa and other trimmings. (I'd made enough to take to three other events, it turned out.) And I *enjoyed* myself doing it.
Making tamales is both harder and easier than you might think. What's hard is the amount of time and effort, but what's easy is the routine you get into after making a few. The day of the luncheon, I taught an early guest how to fill and fold them (using the very easy foldover method illustrated in the book), and she taught everyone else who wanted to try a few. As they say, a good time was had by all.
My tips and observations for those who want to give this a try:
Get *very* organized in advance: ingredients list, timetable, list of accompaniments, etc. A large steamer is a must (I used an oriental two-level steel one, but a Mexican one that looks like a canning kettle works well, too, and both are fairly inexpensive). An electric mixer is also a must. I used a hand mixer, but a stand mixer would have been easier.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Veronica L. Miller on January 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
Tradition in my Mexican family is that tamales are made every Christmas Eve for Christmas day dinner. I have very fond memories of my grandmother, aunts, and cousins getting together and making unbelievable amounts of tamales from scratch. So this year I wanted to make tamales myself, but with the passing of my grandmother, her recipes went with her. Tamales are not the easiest thing to make (I remembered all the time and effort they require). Not all masas or fillings taste the same and everyone that makes them, has their own specail "touch". I wanted to be able to recapture the same texture and flavor of the tamales my Mama Luz (grandmother) used to make. So...in my quest for tamale guidiance, I turned to this book. I wasn't sure if I'd get good results, but decided to take the gamble. Well let me tell you, my tamales came out AMAZING!!! The recipe for the tomatillo salsa was a big hit! I paired this salsa with chicken and it was great! I also made the traditional sweet tamales and they tasted just like the ones my grandmother used to make. The recipes were easy to follow and the illustrations were very helpful. I'm a pretty avid cook but I had always been intimidated of tamales. Well nevermore! My childhood memeries of tamales will now not just left to be a yearly tradition in my household because I now know I can whip up a batch at a whim. I'm very happy that I found this book and glad that I took the gamble on this book now. Thank you Alice Guadalupe Tapp for helping me bring back a cherished tradition into my home.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Luminosa on January 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book. The author brings enormous experience from her own highly beloved tamalaria in S. Calif. and makes it possible to create excellent tamales on your own. Not as easy a subject as it might seem. I found her presentation thoughtful, with clear, thorough explanations and instructions that are well-presented. Her detailed description of the different types of masa and masa prep., of tamale wrappers and wrapping techniques, of ratio of filling to masa, of the tradition versus popular taste in saucing tamales, of all matters related to general preparation, cooking, storing etc. are all excellent, especially considering that it is a rather small book. Unlike another tamale book out now by a famous chef, these recipes are down to earth and wonderful, and span a wide range of tamales...including adaptations for vegetarians, special occasion tamales and much more. Great sauce recipes. Different versions of many recipes (such as mole sauces, chicken tamales, and much more). The author has a nice personable style, sharing customs and her own family lore along with her valuable insights from running a tamaleria in a trendy So. Cal beach town...and that is a really daunting challenge: to appeal to everything from a large solid Mexicano population to surfers to L.A.'s celeb-types etc. etc.

This is really a great recipe collection, well-presented for the experienced and novice tamale-maker (which I was...), and it is a really pretty publication - rich in colors and beautiful photos. I love this book...I have a very large cookbook collection that I use pretty extensively, and this little book has really endeared itself to me. I think it is a great value.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Wandering Reader on December 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have actually been making tamales for a few years now ~ Nobody in my family made them, we always bought them, but I was determined to learn how to make these wonderful little packages. I needed quality control since it was hit or miss when we bought them. I had a vague idea, but not much more than that, so I questioned family, friends and co-workers trying to find a relatively easy recipe that yielded great tamales. Alas, I had no luck UNTIL I found a website (in a completely different state) for what seemed like fantastic tamales.

Google search tamaras tamales ~ The site labeled Welcome to Tamara's Tamales is where you want to click on.

They had (still have) a recipe that I've been using since. I hand wrote it in my composition book of FAVORITE (tried with success) recipes . The masa was/is wonderful, flavorful and light. I use their filling suggestion (chicken verde) as well as use my own fillings with much success and LOTS of compliments.

Well now I'm at that point where family, friends and co-workers think I'm the expert and seek my help and experience. So, I thought it was time for me to be more adventurous and expand my knowledge on this subject, as well as try completely new flavor combinations. I stumbled across this book here at Amazon. I actually found two books (the other will not even be mentioned, as it was terrible) and bought them both. They arrived quickly and I promptly read them both.

From the first page I was thrilled. Alice Guadalupe Tapp shares the history of the tamale as well as her own personal history with the tamale ~ Something I personally enjoy. Well, on page nine, Alice references Tamara's Tamales ~ Now where had I heard that name before?
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