Even though I grew up in Southeast Texas where Latino anything was scarce, I was raised by parents who loved traveling to Mexico and loved Mexican food. When my family was given a deer one hunting season, my parents had the venison made into 45 dozen tamales.
Because of this childhood experience, I love to pick up a dozen tamales now and again to bring home to my own family. I’m happy to report that my daughter has become a tamale aficionado. She’s about to take off for college, and tamales were high on her list of food to eat before she left town.
San Antonio, unlike my birthplace, is covered up with tamale vendors. In the more than 30 years I’ve lived here, I’ve tried quite a few. My favorite tamales, however, come from Adelita Tamales & Tortilla Factory at 1130 Fresno, just east of Interstate 10. Four generations of the Borrego family and their employees have been making tamales, tortillas, chips, bunuelos and more since 1938.
For $7.75, you can get a dozen bean and jalapeño tamales to go. Pork or pork with jalapeño will run you $8.25, and a dozen chicken tamales are $9.
Anthony Borrego, whose great-grandfather started the company, said that pork tamales are by far their best sellers. They go through 17 tons (approximately 34,000 pounds) of pork during the holidays. Chicken comes in second at 15,000 pounds. All of the ingredients they use to make their products are sourced from Texas.
Every three months, 30,000 pounds of corn from LaCoste is delivered to their silo. Inside the factory, the corn is cooked in lime water before being ground by volcanic stone. Their masa is the real deal, and you can taste the difference in their tamales.
You may also give Adelita’s chicharrones, barbacoa, carnitas, gorditas, flour tortillas, corn tortillas and UTSA-colored navy blue and orange chips a try. Personally, I don’t think you should leave their shop without a bag of their cinnamon-and-sugar-frosted bunuelos. Yes, they’re heavenly with a cup of Mexican hot chocolate during the holidays, but why wait until then?
Adelita is open from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. They are closed on Mondays. Call (210) 733-5352 to place your order, or just drop in and let the spirit of Centeotl guide you.
For even more ideas of fun things to do and see in San Antonio, visit Barnes & Noble, The Twig, Whole Foods, Half Price Books on Broadway, Costco, Sam’s and Hudson News to purchase “100 Things To Do in San Antonio Before You Die” by yours truly. ¡Viva San Antonio!