I Was On CCTV! - Talking about my backpacking trip and Chinese food. Can’t bring myself to watch the whole thing; I hate seeing myself talk. Makes me cringe. Plus, I lived ...
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Tamal de Pata y Oreja-Guatemala City
This entry into the tamale diaries is truly unique and rare. Each year a woman from Guatemala City come here to visit her family, a relative of Mario and Esperanza Diaz from North Hollywood, CA. What does she do while in town? Visit Disneyland? Go to Hollywood? No, she makes tamales.
This tamal is a tradition from Guatemala, a large banana leaf tamal stuffed with whole pig's foot and sliced pig ears.
Tamales from Guatemala are flavored with mild crushed peppers, green olives, raisins, and local seasonings. They're packed with flavor, and the ear and foot are so tender. It is a corn masa, and the banana leaf always renders a soft, fork tender consistency to a tamal.
In Guatemala and here in LA, Guatemalans feast on tamales during the holidays. The tamal of pig ear and foot is a hearty offering, traditionally made by women for the men in their lives, some comfort to help them through the long days of labor and toil. When these arrive, they are the best ear and foot dish in LA. I'll put these up against the decadent pied de cochon or the pig ear at Church and State.
Every year 'round November, I start to bug Esperanza about the tamales. I sort of have to start being nice to her around October though. These are my favorite tamales in the world that are NOT made by my grandmother. I've a stash of ten of these in my freezer and turn off my cell phone each time I throw one in the oven to warm up. This is a dining experience that requires your full attention.