By Eduardo | @eduardoplaschinski
Walking along Liverpool street in Mexico City’s Colonia Juárez, I stumbled upon a tiny, beautiful space filled with natural wood, large containers with different kinds of heritage corn varieties displayed, and hard-working people hand-making tamales on a large workspace with stools for customers to sit and enjoy the action.
Regina and José are the founders of Tamales Madre. Friends and cousins that are on a mission to find the best corn varieties in Mexico. Heritage corn, free from genetic modification, pesticides, chemicals and toxins. Tamales Madre works with different heritage corn producers that deliver corn varieties that are rich in flavor, texture and color.
Both Regina and José were convinced that the tamal scene in Mexico City wasn’t represented correctly. Mexicans perceive tamales as street food, far from something delicate or looked after, and the cousins teamed up to change that.
After lots of test runs and analyzing recipes and methods used in traditional Mexican kitchens, Regina and José realized animal fat wasn’t a necessary ingredient in the preparation.
The tamales here are prepared with vegetable shortening, as opposed to traditional tamales that are made with lard. This means lighter on the stomach, healthier and leaving the corn as the protagonist in the batter – opposed to dominating the flavor of the heritage corn.
The decadent tamales range from savory to sweet. Black beans and hoja santa, mole and plantain or cacao with pinole custard. Each month there’s a new tamal available on the menu, a special that focuses on representing a certain region’s techniques and flavors.
Tamales Madre is a deep dive into culture, tradition and knowing the origin of the ingredients that are used to prepare the tamales that you’ll crave each time you walk by.
Tamales Madre, Calle Liverpool 44a, Juárez, 06600 Ciudad de México
34comments inTamales Madre
So glad to hear that someone is preserving heritage corn. I wish I could get some here in the states. I worry about genetically modified food. In California we do not view tamales as street food, but to me it is holiday food. My mother would make them for Christmas and New Years. I still only eat them for the holidays.
So glad you love your tamales Susana, so do I, for any occasion 🙂
I am going through this pandemic alone with my 2 pets,and watching your shows ate just the best company! I especially enjoy the ones with your son. The pair of you make a great team! Keep it up!
Thanks so much Skye, so glad I can keep you company through the screen, stay strong 😉
Hola Pati, My mother-in-law would make “Tamales de Dulce”, I was never able to get her recipe and unfortunately she passed away. I want to try to make some this Christmas. Do you have the recipe for that kind of tamales? Please help!!!!
Hey Rosita, I sent you an email about this 😉
I live in upstate NY and I have to buy Masa in a bag to make tamales. My mother visited from S Cali once and made us tamales using the the bag Masa. And of course she mastered it. But she no longer with us. I want to learn how to make tamales. Can I use Crisco shortening instead of lard? I wish I could have you over to teach me on how to make tamales..
Hi Emily, thanks so much for your message. This recipe here is a basic one that will help you getting started on tamales. Of course you can use shortening instead of lard and use the bagged masa for tamales https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/chicken-in-green-salsa-tamal/ Good luck! Let me know how they come out 😉
Hello Pati, I’m a more recent fan, my mom introduced you to me! I’ve very much have been enjoying your journeys and look forward to more as I learn and grow in my cooking repertoire. I did learn to make tamales from my grandmother, who passed away 7 years ago at 93 years old. She taught me to use Crisco in lieu of lard, since that’s how she learned from her grandmother. My grandmother was born in Arizona in 1921. I’m not sure if her grandmother picked up using Crisco in Hermosillo where she was from or adapted using it while living in Arizona or eventually their final move to Los Angeles in the late 1920’s. I shared this story, because of the way you share on your show. I’m all signed up for your monthly newsletter, catching up on your blogs!!
Oh I love this. Thank you so much for sharing, Michelle!
PATI, LOVE YOUR TV SHOW. I WAS WATCHING YOUR SHOW ON DIRECT TV AND ALL OF A SUDDEN YOUR PROGRAM WAS OFF. WHY? I MISS IT AND YOUR WONDERFUL RECIPE’S. WHERE ARE YOU?
My new season will start in October, Mary. In the meantime, you can see if your local station is showing reruns here: http://www.tracmedia.com/LOL/PatisMexicanTable2/ or you can always find me on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L8N2ZX1/
I agree that lard is not needed for making delicious tamales. I use canola oil to bring moisture to my masa. I only wish I could find good hearty heritage masa free from all the processing. The real taste of tamales comes from the spices you use to fill the tamal and don’t skimp on the filling. I appreciate what Tamales Madre is doing to bring the variety of flavors. Yum!
Seasoned oil is a great alternative to lard!
Pati, thank you so much for all your hard work sharing the wonderful cuisine of Mexico with the world! My husband is from
Chiapas. Thanks to your recipe books, I have learned really well to make beans and salsa. I love to joke with people how you changed my husband’s life! 😉 We have been enjoying your show on demand from Amazon and you make everything look so easy and tasty, I’m inspired to even try my hand at tamales. I hope one day you can visit Chiapas and bring back some of the recipes from that region through your show/website. Gracias por todo!
Oh thank you so much for your lovely comment, Dianna! Say hi to your husband for me. Also here’s one of my recipes from Chiapas: https://patijinich.com/pati_2020/chipilin_soup_with_masa_and_fresh_cheese_dumplings/ I hope to get back there soon.
Feliz día de las Madres 💐 Gracias por sus recetas y compartirlas para todas las familias, muchas Bendiciones
Mil gracias, Yesenia.
Feliz Día de las Madres Paisana! Me encanta tu programa!! Tu road trip por la Baja, es mi favorito.
Uy mil gracias, Lydia!
Feliz Día de Las Madres Pati!😀😀😀
Me gusta la idea de reemplazar la manteca y espero poder ajustar mi manera de preparar los tamales. Este año tengo deseo de hacer una “Tamalada” juntar mi familia y pasar la receta de preparar los tamales
Feliz Día de Las Madres, Eugene!
Muchas felicidades en su dia, Pati. Gracias por su programa de TV tan agradable.
Que Dios le bendiga.
un fuerte abrazo
Mil gracias, Robert!
Pati, these look very much like hallacas we enjoyed many years for Christmas in Venezuela, so delicious!
Oh sounds super yum, Sigrid!
That looks amazing. I wish I was there. Are there recipes ever sent out?
Oh I’m not sure….but I hope you get to go soon, Deboraha.
Felix dia de las Madres Pati.
Jeanine (Opera Diva)
Love the show, the newsletter and the blogs. Patti you rock. I also love the music theme for your show. Love the recipes too! Of course! Can you publish the lyrics to your theme song? I love it!!!!
Thank you, Jeanine! The song is called “Dame” and the group that sings it is Domingo Siete, the lyrics go…
Dame tu chocolate (give me your chocolate)
Dame tu piloncillo (give me your unrefined sugar)
Dame café caliente (give me hot coffee)
Dame tu corazón (give me your heart)
Four decades ago, I was fairly fluent in Spanish but I forgot/lost most of what I knew due to lack of practice. When I first discovered your TV show (which I adore) several years ago and heard the theme song, my Spanish started coming back to me. I sing along every time your show comes on the air. Thank you for re-firing my desire to speak fluent Spanish – or at least enough to get by when I visit Mexico – and a passion for Mexican food. Muchas gracias!
Oh I’m so happy to read this, Meg. Thank you!