Like every good gentrifying hipster, I try my best to shop locally and demonize big chain supermarkets as much as I can afford to. Which is ironic because I’m broke as hell these days (fyi, for any lurking eyes that reads this post and can hook it up with any type of work). But amidst my neighborhood browsing, I found a place that sells the elusive Tamales Michoacanos known as Uchepos.
I think it was the window painting of the iconic mustached Mexican Panadero pulling out tray full of burnished bolillos that lured me in.
It turns out they sell a couple of regional Mexican specialty foods, the most special being Michoacan’s notorious all-corn tender tamales on weekends made by an old Michoacana lady. These corn pouches of love are exclusively made with a little butter, a pinch of sugar and whole lot of freshly ground corn kernels – no nixtamal! Which results in a sweet, soft polenta-like tamal resembling a savory corn pudding that is on the edge of being dessert.
On their own they are fine but served with the traditional Michoacano accoutrements of thick, tart salsa verde, a mountain of salty, sharp Cotija cheese and a fat ass dollop of Crema Mexicana, they ain’t nothing to fuck with. Sweet and salty, and so delicately tender, bursting with fresh corn flavor. I usually buy two pairs of them with its toppings there too then head back home to pig out. They pair beautifully with a brimming mug of strong Clever Coffee dripped coffee.
To reiterate, these are only available on weekends (Friday-Sunday) and they are known to sell out by early afternoon so if you really want to experience them, you gotta bust that early ass breakfast mission. Ask for them at the front counter, they have a basket of tamales there with other fillings that aren’t bad if they are out already. The Uchepos are something like a buck and change a pop.
To this day, I haven’t seen these type of Tamales anywhere else in LA. Though, Las Brisas De Apatzingan in Orange County makes them daily and they are a little better there. I almost kept this little gem to myself, but whatever man, YOLO.
Corner of Figueroa Boulevard and Avenue 55