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San Francisco Bay Area Tamales

corn love on 24th st. (sweet tamales, huilote)

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corn love on 24th st. (sweet tamales, huilote)

ed | May 4, 2005 08:39 PM

been hanging out in this hood, with these observations:

victoria bakery has sweet (and many other) tamales. their sweet corn tamales are not too sweet, and have some white corn kernel fragments in the (in my opinion slightly too lardy) masa.

in addition to the regular savory varieties, they also have nacatamal, with green peppers, raisins, tomato, and of course pork.

closer to mission there is a taqueria with fried tacos, as mentioned in another post.

closer still is taqueria vallarta, which runs it's taco station and huilote stand late into the night.
their tacos are somewhat special in that they are served with grilled onion chunks for bonus points.
huilote (if i got that right) is an ear of boiled white corn impaled lengthwise with a stick. it is then slathered in mayo, rolled in crumbled queso fresco, drizzled in lime and dusted with cayenne pepper (optional). this tasty snack is $2, and is served after 6.

editorial - i've been idly comparing these treats to their chinese counterparts, with these observations:

tacos are better than pork buns. tastier, more complex, more variety. however, they are pricier (at least around here) messier to eat, and sometimes pork buns and their variants are pretty friggin tasty too. mongolian pozi are made with lamb...

tamales are not as good as zongzi. a well seasoned full bodied shanghainese pork zongzi makes a convincing argument at any time of the day. tamale masa, on the other hand, seems to rarely find a happy balance between dry graininess and over-larded excess.

corn on the cob. western china is actually sorta into corn on the cob, fire roasted i believe. but i don't know of any better way to eat it than the above mentioned huilote. no surprise there, the meso americans invented corn.

i'm not throwing any gauntlets, just musing.

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