Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC
Bags of masa harina on the shelf at a small grocery store in Pico Union, waiting to be mixed and eaten
Hurry, it's time! Time to shop for ingredients for last-minute tamaleadas, time to pick up those orders if you're ordering them, time to read (or not) the annual onslaught of tamales-related holiday stories that crop up in the media this time of year.
But I'm not above a little gratuitous masa harina shot. There are tamal purists who scoff at the use of masa harina, preferring to grind their own corn ("It tastes like tamales you'd buy at 7-11," a corn-grinding friend snapped once when I admitted using it), but who has time? Plus once it's mixed and ready to steam, it tastes kind of good raw. Buen provecho, tamal makers and eaters.