Banana Leaf Tamales: A Letter to the Chef


Dear Chef,

I tried very hard to control myself, managing only to leave the house before devouring all but the last of those delicious, banana leaf tamales, which only got better as they sat in the fridge overnight, longing to be consumed. I even tried to eat the leaves themselves, as they were calling to me, or perhaps it was the hungry gnome who lives in my stomach (he also likes, and requires, tequila). Please tell me what corn paste, chicken/chili foodstuffs you need to create more and I will buy them immediately. I know you are busy this weekend, but sometime soon thereafter—and before I wrap a towel around my head and explosives to my chest, demanding tamales in retribution for… uh… for a lack of tamales, that is—could we make more? And when I say could I mean, really, God damn it, we need more fucking tamales! —sorry, that was the gnome, not me. ANY hoo, back to the tamales; would it be possible to make a few more, when convenient; and by more I mean many, and by convenient I mean, as in ASAP? I could be an assistant of some kind, in a bartender-like capacity perhaps, or at least a dishwasher thereafter. We could videotape the event and post it on uTube, and then, when you’re famous like Martha Stewart (minus the whole tax-evasion/sent-to-jail “thing”) I could receive a stipend for my services, in the form of seven tamales a day, for example. Why seven? I don’t know, seven came to mind… but then again, how about nine? Alright, great, it’s settled: nine tamales in exchange for a uTube video of you making tamales,—and of me then eating the tamales, I think that would be fabulous. I’m pretty sure there’s a Top Chef on the horizon here… so then, what else… there was something else… did I mention the tamales?

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