After making tamales under Monica's friendly and expert guidance, I will always have to say "I am not worthy" to anyone who serves them to me!
For those who crave authenticity, it doesn't get more real than this. The class takes place in her outdoor kitchen in her backyard under the eaves of a huge fig tree, and next to her husband's bamboo furniture workshop. She is in the Madera neighbourhood, midway between the hotels and beaches of Playa La Ropa and the city centre: easily walkable for the moderately fit.
We gently roasted banana leaves over a charcoal fire, mixed tamale dough by hand. (literally: think of trying to whip cream with your fingers rather than a mixer :-) ) The pulled pork for the filling is also "pulled" by hand, all with encouraging remarks and comments on how Monica's grandmother did it.
You get to consume your handiwork at the end under the fig tree with Margarita's. I wasn't a big fan of Margarita's before, nor fruity drinks in general, but the real thing is excellent (with fresh lime, a very good Tequila (Hornito's, I believe), a Mexican Cointreau like liqueur resulted in a nice benefit of flavours without the Tequila being either to heavy or worse, watered, and finding a balance of the tartness of the lime with the sweetness of the orange liqueurs, and doing it outdoors in someone's back yard in tropical Mexico… priceless!)
Great value too: about $40 per person for education, enlightenment and an excellent meal of to die for tamales!
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