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