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superpitching: (Default)
Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 03:07 pm
A colleague has brought "Hot Tamales" cinnamon sweets into the office. They look pretty vile. The conversation has of course lead on to "what's a tamale anyway"?

So to share the intel:
1. Singular of 'tamales' is not 'tamale', it is 'tamal', if you believe wikipedia;
2. Tamales are made from masa (a starchy dough, often corn-based) and then filled with all sorts of fillings*;
3. Wiki makes comparisons to zongzi 粽子, which is "a tamale but with glutinous rice and a sausage in the middle", a sentence which brings joy to my heart;
4. Tamales are available near Euston in London!

*Mestizo suggests “pollo con mole”, “queso con rajas”, or “puerco con salsa verde". (Chicken/cheese/hog).

Can we go can we can we?
superpitching: (Default)
Monday, August 2nd, 2010 09:58 am
Fish tacos, for me, are the food of ultimate sun-blushed bromance. Whereas in London we can eat our way round pretty much anything, the fish taco has always remained elusive, the preserve of a sunnier, warmer clime. The sort of clime you see on TV, in shows such as the awesome GRΣΣK, or where you would take your latest man-date ("those fish tacos were teh t1ts)! I am pretty sure that they might be the ultimate in Californian food. They've even got cilantro in them, for goodness sakes. And you DEFINITELY can't get them in London...

Until now! Benito's Hat on Goodge Street did their first fish tacos to mark the occasion of their 2nd birthday! To say I was excited is a bit of an understatement. "Fish tacos!", I thought. "That's what they'd eat in Sweet Valley High, omgomgomgomgomg", etc etc. But what, after all this anticipation, to expect?

So, thing #1. Benitos Hat tacos are not served in a hard shell. I am reliably informed by Kerry that the hard shell is TEX-MEX! (Tex-Mex = Mex food, deep fried, extra butter, extra meat, extra lard - think deep-fried mars bar). So, a small tortilla wrap it is.

Thing #2. Well when I say WRAP... what we actually had was the wrap laid flat, on top were some pieces of nice fish (I don't know what kind! I know nothing about fish! Rubbish!), with some very sloppy sauce, onions, totally impossible to wrap up and VERRRRY messy. Forks had to be obtained, and really, I am not a fussy eater, I do not MIND sticky fingers, but come ON. The meat/veg ones were wrapped fine, so I don't know if this was just an inherent problem in the size of the taco wraps. Then use the burrito wrap?

Thing #3. This makes me sound greedy, but there were no extra fillings? I was confused because I usually order a burrito, and wasn't sure if tacos went with the extra fillings (rice, lettuce, cheese, the noble guac, etc etc), but apparently they do! We just didn't get any! (TBH I didn't strictly speaking NEED any but that is not the point).

Perhaps it was because I was eating them on Goodge Street, instead of a split-level ranch on Calico Drive, but the fish taco did not live up to my dreams. If only it had been wrapped properly! Perhaps I would have got it! 2 fish tacos and tortilla chips were good for me, but I think when you're at Benitos Hat, it's all about the burrito. (And a Negra Modelo, but I wasn't drinking sadly).

I'm not sure if Benitos Hat is going to have them on the menu full-time now - their website doesn't list them - but go and check them out! But be warned, they will be IMPOSSIBLE to eat from your hands, unless they sort out the wrapping! The fish taco hasn't supplanted the steak burrito - but, honestly... what could??