CedarLane “Authentic Mexican Style” PULLED PORK TAMALES


“Cedarlane Authentic Mexican Style Pulled Pork Tamales”

I was in the mood for tamales, and I saw these at Trader Joe’s (Refrigerated). My review – as is frequently in the case chez Trader Joe’s with some “ethnic products” – is that these tamales are neither very good nor very bad, they’re “just OK”. These tamales are sold under their own brand (CedarLane) “Authentic, Mexican Style Pulled Pork Tamales.” Authentic, Mexican? That’s really stretching it for honest advertising. My bar for “authentic Mexican” is pretty high. In NYC we have a farily large Mexican population. Not as large as California of course but we are lucky in that one can get very decent Mexican food in New York City. So I have eaten homemade tamales made by women selling them out of a cooler, and most were all terrific. I’ve also gotten tamales from street trucks, ditto. Not to mention in Mexico. So I know a good tamale when I see it and these Cedarlane tamales are not those. These are Blancos factory versions of tamales and get a “Meh”! Edible but nothing to write about. I found them barely seasoned, though they list three kinds of chiles I couldn’t really taste them. These are dumbed down tamales. The filling inside here is a mush of meat and sauce, no chunks of pulled pork as I was expecting. The masa layer is a bit too thin for my tastes. Tamales are all about the corn and the Masa layer as much as the filling. Finally of course these CederLane tamales are made with canola oil – not lard which is “authentic”. OK I know the word lard doesn’t sound appetizing to you but lard is authentic Mexican and it makes for good masa. So while we didn’t hate these, and we ate them and kind of enjoyed them with adding some good salsa, we just didnt find them at all authentic Mexican. So I might not buy these again. I may search out other Trader Joe’s frozen tamales I’ve seen there and check if those are any better.

These are $6.99 (1.75 per tamale)

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