Sunday, February 8, 2015

Review: Tamales by Alice Guadalupe Tapp

Title: Tamales (Fast and Delicious Mexican Meals)
Author: Alice Guadalupe Tapp
Publisher/Publication Date: Ten Speed Press; October 27,2014

Genre: Cooking
Format/Source: Hardcover, Blogging for Books/Publisher

Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Book Summary

A cookbook for making delicious, inventive, and fast tamales using time-saving tips and tricks that simplify the prep-intensive traditional process.

Tamales are a Mexican favorite, beloved year-round as well as at Christmas, when the whole family traditionally pitches in with the work of tamale preparation and assembly. Thanks to renowned tamaleraAlice Guadalupe Tapp, it’s now possible to enjoy these delicious treats with a lot less labor. Tapp has worked her tamale magic to turn the classic process on its head by paring it down to three to four steps that can be done in as little as forty-five minutes using handy tips, products, and tools. All sixty dishes in the book are naturally gluten free, and include both classic tamale recipes—such as Chicken Mole, Sirloin Beef, and Fresh Poblano and Potato tamales—and novel recipes such as Chorizo and Egg, Oxtail, and Baked Fig tamales. With this book, tamales are fast and easy enough to enjoy every day, and delicious enough to serve at any celebration.


I was excited to receive Tamales by Alice Guadalupe Tapp for review, because I had been searching for a way to make Tamales that wasn't so labor intensive. Initially, I asked an acquaintance how to make them. But  other than telling me that she only made them when she got together with her family and that they were hard to make, she didn't give me much information, so I Googled it. I found basic information on how to make tamales. The process was so labor intensive that I've only made them twice in the last five years. The recipe just yielded way too many. Also I wasn't a fan of the filling so the second time I altered the recipe, but it still took sooo long to make them. ***facepalm*** 

As such, I was excited to find this book  by Tapp, which has scaled down recipes that I can easily prepare and cook in a matter of hours. I love the fact that there are a variety of recipes for Masa and filling combinations. There are also helpful illustrations that provide examples of  the different methods of tying and various wrappers that can be used.

I only had a couple of problems with this book. First,  the various steps to making tamales were in different sections of the book; however, they weren't difficult to find.  Also the consistency of the Basic Fresh Masa was compared to that of spackling paste, which might be confusing if you haven't worked with that substance before.

Overall, this is an invaluable resource, and it gave me a lot of ideas for creating tamales.  So far I've made chorizo and egg tamales (I substituted soyrizo for the chorizo), and my family absolutely loved them.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for quick and easy ways to make tamales.

Rating 4.5/5
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this Review" 

About the Author 

When ALICE GUADALUPE TAPP was only seven years old, she began helping her grandmother make tamales to sell after Sunday mass. Now Alice is co-owner (with her daughter, Tamara) of Tamara's Tamales in Marina Del Rey, California. She is the author of Tamales 101.

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