Monday, August 27, 2012

One Bite: Yvolina's spinach and mushroom tamale

Posted By on 08.27.12 at 12:38 PM

Espinacas con hongos
In a city with tamaleros on every corner, not a great many stand out. There's the Tamale Guy, of course, whose corn-husk six-packs are valued mostly for the salvation they offer to the crapulous. There are the superbly fluffy offerings of Tamales Garibay and the performance-art masa torpedoes of the Tamale Spaceship. And then there are Yvolina's Tamales, sold every Sunday at the Pilsen Community Market. This little operation boasts 23 different varieties, from turkey and salsa verde to a Puerto Rican-style pork sazon to eggplant. They aren't all available every week and they sell out fast—necessitating a second delivery some time in the late morning—so timing and luck is a crucial element in accessing them.

The mushroom and spinach is a particular prize; wrapped in a Oaxacan-style banana leaf, the masa is moist and smooth, enveloping a generous amount of saucy fungus and greens. These go down easy with horchata, limonada, or sometimes tepache.

Yvolina's Tamales, Pilsen Community Market, 18th and Halsted, Sun 9 AM-3 PM

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