(I wrote this tale as a simple Tribute to all the mostly WOMEN and men and kids who labor to make one of the most difficult items to master and time consuming Mexican Foods of all times-The Tamale and one place here in Texas is the Bomb Diggity of the Industry and it is a HIDDEN GEM in Somerville, Texas calling themselves Tamales Depot LLC)
(this is one picture I took makes me dream that I could just up and enter this picture and follow the tracks to a special place where the Secret Tamale is made and friends, I am going to tell you all about such a place. But first off, let me tease that youngster inside of you with a little children’s tale. Okay?)
Fable of the Texican Tamale
In the sixth Century about two hundred miles West from where Mexico City is Today, there was once a small village of Mexican Decent that had a wonderful group of friends and Mi Amigos. And there was one family that was pretty well, for the time period, educated men and women of the Montoya Family. Yes, they were very intelligent, but many things had not been presented to them for their considerations in life.
And the Ninos and Ninas were very playful and they enjoyed each other’s company. And the youngest was Pedro, yes, his 1st name was Pedro and his was Pedro Alvarez Gutierrez Montoya. And he was nine years old.
His sister that he enjoyed swimming with and playing other children games was Maria. And Maria was 12 years old. And their mother was Juanita and the Father was Chimma and he was originally from South America.
Now, the family had been visited many years before and even a boat had stopped, and they were introduced to Corn and how to grow it and it was something to eat and it was new to all of them. The Indians also taught them how to grind the dried corn and they soon learned how to make even tortillas with the ground corn. It was a Beast of a job to grind corn on flat rocks and it took a long time. But the mother loved her family and she did not complain. And complaining was not something that any of them had ever been introduced to. No, complaining was not even a word in their language and their language has changed so much over the Centuries that it is a Lost Language even today.
Now, how did that very 1st Tamale finally come to being? Yes, how was it first to ever come about? Yes, that is a very interesting question and one that has baffled even the Historians, but it was delivered to Granny Z many, many years ago in New York City where this amazing 105-year old storyteller told her stories to children.
Yes, another man almost a hundred years old told her and it came from the playing of the Montoya Family’s children. But how? Well, here is one version of
It was pretty well a total accidental discovery, but even a playful monkey played a part in this tale and this is how all of it took place-
Fable of the Texican Tamale
Once upon a time and on this One day, the kids were playing around and unlike the North in the Winter, these kids made mushy and sticky corn balls to toss at each other when their mother was not around. So, one day, Pedro and Maria were tossing Mushy Corn Balls at each other made from Corn Meal and Water and Pedro had a strong arm on him. But Maria could fling a mean Corn Ball as well.
Well, Pedro tossed one Corn Ball and it hit Maria right straight in her face and she burn-off after him like there was no tomorrow and soon, she had him down and put a fist beating on her little brother’s back. But then, he turned and shove another Corn Ball right into her mouth, and she spit it out and jumped off of him.
Pedro jumped up to go and make more Corn Balls to hit his sister with and soon, his sister was once again near him and he fired one Corn Ball after another at her. But Maria grabbed two of them and tossed them back and hit Pedro on the side of his face and then, One of them, but who? Is still undetermined.
The Corn Ball fell into a large dug-out bowl simmering with seasoning in it. And then Maria reached down and threw it at Pedro and as the Corn Ball neared him, he slapped it down and it went into a pile of fresh cut-up meat and then Maria grabbed it and she flung it at Pedro with it having meat with now seasoned corn meal.
The meat and Corn Ball mixture missed Pedro and landed on some fresh Corn Husks and it was close to the fire and when their Father came home later that day, he found it and saw it there sitting in a Corn Husk next to the fire and he picked it up and he ate it. Then he suddenly looked at his wife and said-How did you make this delicious new recipe? It is my new love. She said-QUE?
And then, he gave her a small bite and the mother then looked at her son and daughter that always played with the Corn Meal making Corn Balls.
Which one of you made this? What did you do?
Neither Pedro or Maria had a clue, but the mother thought and as she slowly ate the new and wonderful blend of seasoned meat, seasoned Corn Meal and Corn Husk, she said-OUCHIE TAMAL!
And the husband said-
TAMAL? This is a TAMAL? Make another TAMAL my wife.
And the wife told her husband-
I will make more Tamales tomorrow.
And the night came and the mother woke-up worried on how would she would please her man and how would she make him another TAMAL? She did not know how it was made, and she was very upset, and she sat there, and her eyes began to fill with tears as she did not know how to please this latest request from her man.
But as she cried later that day and crushed the dried corn, she looked-up and there was a monkey in the tree that always mocked her by doing what her kids did. Yes, the monkey learned to mock the children’s actions. And soon the Monkey ran down down the tree and grabbed a handful of fresh Corn Meal and he dashed back up into the tree. The woman cursed the monkey.
Then the woman began making a blend of seasoning to begin simmering in the simmer bowl near the fire and this was made to use as a dipping sauce for the cut-up meats.
And then, her husband returned from hunting and he had fresh meat and he sat down and cut-up the meat and soon left, but before he did, he asked her-You making TAMAL tonight?
Yes, my husband, I am making Tamales tonight.
And he left now very happy. But she, she was very sad. Then suddenly the Monkey ran down and dipped his hand into a bowl of water and then slapped it on the cut-up meat and dipped it into the simmering bowl and then he threw it at the woman.
The woman slapped the sloppy thing coming her way and it landed in the Corn Husks and she cursed the Monkey. Then she walked over and saw the Corn Meal and Simmer Seasoning and Meat all together sitting in a corn husk and she thought.
If I make the Corn Meal with simmer sauce and dip the meat in simmer sauce and then made the Corn Meal flat and put the meat on it and then rolled it up into a Corn Huck, it would be more easy to cook.
So, the woman worked hard making a new recipe that the Monkey had helped her finally figure out, but her version was much more improved and then, she sat the rolled Corn Husks with the Seasoned Corn Meal and Seasoned Cut Meat in it next to the Open fire to cook atop a bunch of hot rocks.
Finally, her husband and her family came home to eat. And soon, the very 1st Tamales were eaten. And everyone found them to be simply amazing to eat.
And the happy wife continued making Tamales until she perfected the making-seasoned meat, seasoned corn meal, all wrapped in a special way inside a Corn Husk. And together, the cooking and Corn Husk creates such an incredible unique blend to make an awesome tasting Tamale, and Centuries passed until the recipes and the “know how” migrated to Texas to become a fave food for Happy Texas Generations.
And now, for the “Rest of the Story”. Today, I had the second opportunity to get Tamales from the
TaMaLeS DePoT LLC in SoMeRviLLe, TeXaS!
And again, I was simply in Heaven eating some of the finest Texas Tamales that Texas has to Offer to anyone. And this place in Somerville, Texas is making some of the FINEST TAMALES I have ever found. Yes, this place is the one I have searched for and it has missed me and now, I have found it and I am only sharing this with you if you got a Tamale Loving Gremlin inside of you. I even have a grandson that loves Tamales and he’s starting life out right for sure.
Compadres, Friends, Mi Amigos, I kid you not, the Art of Making the Tamale is as Old as Time Itself, BUT ONE OF THE HARDEST TO MASTER, and it’s making and blending of special ingredients is so SECRETIVE that ONLY a MASTER MEXICAN CHEF can put these things together to make your face form-up into a smile of pure satisfaction. And a heavenly Salsa is something that is also tried over a million times until the perfect ingredients are put together to Make the Perfect Salsa to compliment your TAMALE. And this place has the most unique, wonderful authentic Salsa that I have tasted in at least thirty years. A Salsa all of their own.
Tamales Depot LLC is that “hidden gem” right here in Texas that you been missing, and so gosh darn close to Texas A&M University that it’s not even funny, and this place is nothing short of simply making the Finest Tamales I have ever eaten, and their Secret SALSA is INCREDIBLE! And if you love fishing like at Lake Somerville, a side trip to this place to grab some great Tamales is here for sure. I promise you, I simply cannot say enough on how excellent their Tamales truly are.
And this place is a “Bucket List” place to grab some Tamales from.
Compadres, Friends, Mi Amigos, I have been all over Texas. Laredo to Juarez, El Paso to Dallas, Texarkana to Houston, San Antonio to Beaumont, and Corpus Christi and Sweetwater to Aspermont and Rotan and Mt. Pleasant and you name it, I been there. And across the United States from San Diego to LA to far North to Chicago and all the way across to the Beaches on both sides of Myrtle Beach and New Orleans and California and Tamales are simply a special secret Jewel of Texas. Maybe the best UNSUNG Food of Texicans and all of us Texas Tamale Loving Fans and finding the right place that makes HOMEMADE Tamales is so hard to find. The most difficult of all. If they sale Tamales, I have tried most of them. And I have shook my head after trying bad tamales everywhere. But when you find that legit place selling legit Tamales, you better slap yo mamma!
Sure, in El Paso, they got a handle on them, but they put out so many that they now tasted MASS PRODUCED as well even in the small stores. They lost that Master Mexican Chef touch. Ones from San Antonio are that way too-way too commercialized.
But HOLD UP! STOP YOUR TRUCK COWBOYS and COWGIRLS, I finally found the right place which is without Reputation. But it will come, and I am telling you now, GET SOME OF THESE TAMALES! You got to pull in and grab yourself a dozen or two or three or four.
And no, I am not a Salesman for them. I have eaten them several times before now and they are just as GREAT each and every time as the very 1st time I have ever had them. I finished three dozen and I still want more.
But you got a Cell Phone, LOOK THEM UP and GET YOURSELF SOME! You’ll be glad that you did!
TaMaLeS DePoT LLC in SoMeRviLLe, TeXaS!
And I am sharing three pictures with you that I took. One is the Outside and the others are two pictures I took inside.
And yes, that is the owner in this one. But really, go find and checkout this fine, wonderful place of authentic HOMEMADE Mexican Tamales! Made by a MASTER MEXICAN CHEF!
TaMaLeS DePoT LLC in SoMeRviLLe, TeXaS!
But no story, no POST, is any good unless it has a special ending and this email sent to me is that special ending from the Owners-
God Bless…the living breathing James Brown, US Army Veteran, author of the books Handgun Safety and the ones below-