I was with a friend roaming Catbalogan when she suddenly asked the trike driver to make a detour and head instead to a place in Munoz District so she could pick her order of Tamalos, to be brought to another friend who was to bring those to that friend's children in Manila. Tamalos is considered by Catbaloganons a memorable local delicacy of/from their city. Needless to say, many who still know Tamalos, and are outside of Catbalogan, long to taste this hard to come by fare. And so we were at the house of Mana Vicky (Rodriguez?). I was allowed in, to have a quick look at how them Tamalos were being made. Oh boy did I get in the house hehe!
This was a quick fly-by as the trike was waiting, but just the same, I was able to get a few snaps of ‘Tamalos in the making’ and 'Tamalos ready to ship' – the photos you see in this article.
Anyway, I did not really imagine there is/was dough in my previous ocular and oral encounters with Tamalos. But there is, though thinly. And dough notwithstanding, I found it hard to imagine how they get to wrap the final concoction unto a banana leaf without dripping out, since the mixture seems to be more on the liquid consistency, save for the chunks of pork. But am not man of the kitchen... am just a man of the table... aka glutton hahaha! I do wonder as I did before, does the banana leaf as wrapper add flavor to the Tamalos? Yeah, I wonder! Can't eat be laid in something like the llnera of the leche flan so its not that messy? Ayan, nakialam nanaman hehehe!
Ei, speaking of the banana leaf... I remember many years ago, strips of the same leaf were the once used to tie the two ends of the wrapped Tamalos. Then came a time those were replaced by something like cotton-twine. But nowadays, they tie it with plastic straw... and it melts ugly when I heat the Tamalos bare in a pan. Am inclined to suggest they use wire so there's no melting while heating hehe. But oh, these days, when you buy Tamalos, they put the thing inside clear plastic bags that are heat-sealed. So there's no more danger of the sauce dripping even inside your backpack! Whew! But yes, the yellow plastic straw has to be replaced. With what, red plastic straw? whahehehehe! Why must these delectable waray-waray eatables be messy?! Remember binagol? its the same experience, you have to get your hands messy to enjoy the delicacy!
Ah, I learned that because of customer preferences, some Tamalos now come in the non-spicy or slightly-spicy versions (all were originally spicy). But, I warn you, whatever kind of Tamalos you have, watch the rice you eat it with. It can be a kaldero-full of carbs in your stomach and you will still be smiling while drinking coke! But what the heck, its not as if you have the luxury of devouring Tamalos every lunch time, right?! Its expensive in the first place and comes from far Catbalogan. So, if you get hold of one, eat people… EAT!!! Marrrasa!
Adios Tamalos! 'Til I see you again. Probably next month?! Yummy yum yum yum!