Haven’t been at La Adelita ( Pico & Union ) in years.
Yesterday (Monday) stopped by.
Bought some of their excellent fried plantains ( a.k.a. tajadas, tostones, patacones,... I never know which ). Grabbed a pack of tortillas. A bag of gorditas. Some other stuff.
Then suddenly... lo and behold! Near the cashier, intermingled with the above mentioned goods, a tray of tamales. Or rather, suspicious looking young fellows wrapped in aluminum foil.
I asked, pointing my finger at them: “De qué son?”
Answer came swift: “De chipilín”.
I said to myself “Pibil”, ok, let’s try it. Bought two.
Total bill (including tax) for the tortillas, the gorditas, the tamales, plus some awful kind of nacatamal, $7 bucks and feria.
Ok, it wasn’t pibil. It was chipilín.
What is chipilín? Gatekeepers will censor unmercifully any attempt (of mine, at least) at copypasteing long sentences. Suffice to say: “Chipilín is not cultivated on an agricultural scale; it's something you might find at farmers' markets, in home gardens, and growing in the wild. Both the leaves and the flowers are edible, though the leaves don't develop much of a taste until cooked. We recently tried chipilín in a Oaxacan rice recipe. It was pleasantly pungent and herbaceous – not overwhelming but enough to add some depth to the dish.”
End result of the masa, cooked with some chicken broth, the amazing chipilín flavors and the meat filling ( Pork? Chicken? Ver veisst...) was spec-tacular. Refined, subtle, a-mazing.
This is first time I see tamales right next to the tortillas. Do they make them daily? Daily specials? Only way to know: I’m planning to be back. Soon.