If you are one of those people who think that you do not need yet another cookbook, I'm here to tell you that you're wrong. You do need another one, you need this one. You need Tamales by Alice Guadalupe Tapp.
I'll tell you why you need this one. You need it, not just because it taps an area that you have doubtless left unexplored, not because it is probably the definitive book on making tamales, and not because it will teach you how to make them, fold them, store them, freeze them, and even shortcuts to faster assembly. No. You need it because it is going to do what a lot of other cookbooks don't. It is going to inspire you.
You are going to turn the pages and marvel at the fact that tamales need not be simply meat and masa. They are not just served for lunch or dinner. They are not just savory.
Tamales are appropriate at any time of the day from morning to midnight, and tamales can be a starter, main dish or, brace yourself, dessert.
You are going to look at this book and see your favorite hot artichoke dip turned into delicious tamales and wonder what else you can do. You will see salad become tamales (think Tuna Salad and Corn Salad), and soon you'll be wrapping chicken salad, egg salad, and perhaps even pimiento cheese salad into a tamale and steaming it on the stove.
You will see vegetables and potatoes turned into tamales (Broccoli and Refried Beans to name two). You will find Asian inspired, French inspired, and Indian inspired varieties (Chicken Curry Tamales), vegan tamales, and those filled with meats from simple sirloin to beef cheeks to oxtail, wild boar, and tripe.
Wondering about dessert? How about a rice pudding or Oreo tamale?
You will never look at food again without wondering how you can mound it on masa and wrap it in a husk. You will be inspired, you will think, you will engage, you will experiment. Now how many cookbooks can offer that?
This post is linked to:
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.