One Bite: Torta de Tamal | Bleader

One Bite: Torta de Tamal


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torta de tamal
  • Torta de tamal

About a year and half ago Friend of the Food Chain Peter Engler, the world's foremost authority on the Mother-in-Law sandwich, told GrubStreet (nee MenuPages) about a variant of the legendary tamale on a bun that had so far eluded him:

. . . I've been searching Chicago for a torta de tamal, another specialty of Mexico City, a Mexican MIL if you will. This starchfest, a bolillo stuffed with a tamal, also goes by the name guajolota ("turkey") for obvious reasons. I have a feeling that it's available by request at many places but have not yet seen it listed on a menu.

Since then he found one at a bakery in Madison. Still, it's a rare day that I can impress Engler, so when the frutera who'd been camped at the corner of Kedzie and Cullom all summer recently replaced her mangos and melons with tamale sandwiches and champurrado, "estilo el D.F.," I knew he'd be all over it: "A torta de tamal specialist!," he e-mailed. "I never thought I'd see that in Chicago."

As you'd expect, it is a carb powerload, just the sort of thing you'd need to fuel you through the predawn hours of a grueling double shift at the maquiladora. Not too many of those in the neighborhood, so maybe that's why the señora has been MIA for the last few days. If you see her anywhere let me know.

the specialist
  • The specialist

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