Disturbing in design, but unusually compelling
At any time when I’m in Mexico Metropolis, together with this previous Thanksgiving, I go to the Witches’ Market, the place to go for amulets, potions, statues of Santa Muerte, the standard stuff a witch may want throughout her busy, witchy day. As soon as, leaving the market, I noticed a meals tent with an enormous line in entrance. “Should be the great things,” I believed, so I acquired in line, not understanding what I used to be ready for. Once I acquired to the top of the road, I paid my cash and acquired … a guajolota.
The guajolota (wha-ho-low-tah) is a tamale, lined in inexperienced sauce, laid right into a bolillo, an rectangular bun. The phrase “guajolota” relies on a Nahuatl phrase, “guajolote,” a time period for turkey, as a result of the entire thing seems to be like a plump little turkey.
Up till lately, I’d by no means seen a guajolota in Chicago, however I had seen one thing very shut. At Fats Johnny’s within the Marquette Park space, I used to be launched to the Mom-in-Regulation. We cowl this Chicago authentic meals in Made in Chicago: Tales Behind 30 Nice Hometown Bitesand it’s mainly a poppy seed bun, the identical used with a Chicago sizzling canine, however as a substitute of a wiener, there’s a Chicago corn roll tamale. This hometown tamale is a tube of cornmeal with a magenta core that *could* comprise meat; within the Mom-in-Regulation, the tamale is roofed in chili and dressed like a sizzling canine with sport peppers, chopped onions, blue-green relish, tomatoes, and a pickle slice. On the primary season of No Reservationswhen Anthony Bourdain visited Chicago, he pronounced it “disturbing in design, but unusually compelling.”
In early November, I discovered a spot in Cicero, Tamales Blanquitas, which serves guajolotas. Once I stopped by this tiny restaurant, the server gave me the side-eye once I requested for a guajolota, and I don’t suppose it was as a result of I used to be talking depressing Spanish. It was probably as a result of this specialty shouldn’t be even listed on the restaurant’s menu board; it’s on the “secret menu,” so it’s important to understand it’s there. Although a bit of carb-heavy, this can be a easy sandwich, and the sauce helps alleviate the heaviness.
In contrast to Chicago’s Mom-in-Regulation, the guajolota at a Mexican restaurant will use a extra conventional tamale product of meat and finely floor corn meal, a lot preferable to the Chicago corn roll tamale. All in all, I desire the Mexican model as a result of they use a greater type of tamale.
There’s a connection between the guajolota in Mexico Metropolis and the Mom-in-Regulation in Chicago. Historically in Mexico, the guajolota is dappled with a inexperienced sauce, and in Mexico there’s a inexperienced sauce referred to as salsa de suegra, or mother-in-law’s sauce.
In fact, it’s unlikely the fellows at Fats Johnnie’s thought they have been reproducing a Mexican basic, and when you ask why the sandwich known as a Mom-in-Regulation, you may get the smart-alecky rejoinder, “It, too, provides you with indigestion.”
Apologies to mothers-in-law in all places. We hope you had a contented Thanksgiving, and when you’re tiring of leftover turkey, you may enterprise into Cicero for a guajolota.