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Eater NY: Can These Mexican Chefs Make the Tamale as Popular as Tacos in NYC?

Updated: Sep 11, 2019

In Mexico, the tamale is both a breakfast staple and a celebratory meal, nearly always present at holidays or birthdays, and it’s very much a part of everyday life. But these meat-stuffed pockets of masa (corn dough), hand-wrapped within corn husks and steamed, haven’t had as big a presence here, at least not in standalone restaurants. Instead, tamales are typically found on the street, inside subway stations, or as a part of a larger menu.


Fernando Lopez wanted to change that when he opened Factory Tamal on the Lower East Side two years ago. He had one goal in mind: to make the tamale more mainstream.

“I wanted to take the tamales out of the ‘underground,’ and make it a daily dish for every New Yorker,” says Lopez, who is originally from Puebla, Mexico. “I wanted to show people the way that my hometown does the tamale.”...


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