So the best part about leaving town going anywhere north or east of the Felicianas is the chance to drive up through Woodville and pay an overdue visit to the M and M Hot Tamales. It’s incredible. Phenomenal, even. They come tied in bundles of three for $2. Chicken or beef are on hand. You can pre-order shrimp or crawfish. Pick up a half dozen bundles. If you eat ‘em there you may have to go up for another before you hit the road just to saver it.
The meat is carefully tucked inside a soft white corn masa. Each bundle neatly wrapped and hand-tied with cotton string. Eating these tamales, I might as well be eating tamales 3,000 years ago in the Petén in Guatemala. Same corn husk, same masa, same care. It’s a step back in time to see such attention and time go into your food. I can’t imagine finding an experience in the all of New Orleans where I’d feel closer to the hands that prepared my food. The tamales feel like an offering.
The part most zen is the little plastic fork. I enjoy how the tamale flakes apart like the meat of a steamed fish to the little plastic fork. Though the tamales look greasy, they aren’t. They’re steamed. You see the shine of water and you feel the cleanliness of the corn. In the end you don’t feel gross and you don’t feel sick. You feel a little blessed.
I have a sense, judging from the appearance of a place if it will be good, and looking and M and M Hot Tamales, I had a feeling it would. And it was and is. It met a certain aesthetic. It gives a certain aura. Not glitzy. Not haughty but authentic. I must also note that everyone working the stand, my wife and I have had the pleasure of meeting, has been more than incredibly respectful. Again, a little step back in time. This is definitely one food experience that is so much more. I hope you get the chance to check it out.