Trader Joe’s Mini Chicken Tamalitos

Trader Joe's Mini Chicken Tamalitos
If you have read this blog, you will know what I think about lunch at work. I don’t like it. Part of the problem is that there’s not a lot of food at Trader Joe’s. I’m happy to pay $2 for a decent meal. Yes, I know I am a cheapie, but I also have a kid and my Subaru has just failed after 18 years of hard work (I was aware I shouldn’t have mentioned the cupholders a few weeks ago), so I feel justified. I’m at least being honest with myself. Although there are some alternatives, such as this, that and that other thing… it’s the same week after week. It’s not enough to have something new. I also need something that will make my fastfood-baggin coworkers smile at me. You cannot imagine how shocked and disappointed I was to see the package in the trash at my workplace the other day. It wasn’t by me.

That’s probably why I bought the Mini Chicken Tamalitos last Thursday. Although they are slightly more expensive than I would prefer, at $3.99, I was able make two lunches with them. I know what your thinking: “Hmm… frozen microwavable tomasales.” Yeah right.” Well, if the bigger version works according to our resident tamale expert, I had hope for these pequeño pieces, too.

Some water in the boYou will need some Tupperware, some damp paper towel, some plastic wrap, and a few minutes in the microwave to make these. You will get a steamy hot little Tamales to enjoy for your dining pleasure. These are easy to make. No, seriously. Look at the photo I took of one that I deliberately sliced in half. It has a soft, warm corn masa wrap, decent white meat chicken, lots of glowing red spices, and a bit of kick. Si, delicioso. A tamale can be eaten in two or three bites. If you’re bringing along some of your favorite sidekick pretzels, four to five tamales will suffice for lunch. Although they aren’t as good as fresh-made tamales from Mexico, these TJ creations are still worthy of a try for their taste and texture. They’re very tasty and I don’t find any issues with them.

One thing is certain about them. If you use Spanish for -ito, it means that you need to add an -ito. or -ita at end of word. This will translate to “little ___”. So “burrito”, “little donkey” or “thereby” can be translated to “burrito”.Judge Ito“means “little judge”. The same goes for “tamalito”, which translates to “little tamale”. It’s not a problem. However, there’s also the term “mini” in product names. This either makes the name redundant (“mini tamales chicken little tamales”) of gives the impression that Trader Joe’s has cultivated and harvest entire races of micro-chickens to create these tamales or maybe even these tacos. Although I wouldn’t place it beyond them, it’s still a lot of effort.

It’s just me, like with most of my lunch-related adventures, that grades them. Sandy isn’t a fan of tamales because she hates the texture. I doubt that she would want to take part in this event. As I mentioned, I love these tamales, maybe a bit more than I should. Some of this may be because a coworker asked me whether I like the husks. The only thing I have to complain about is that, even though they were mostly intact, some of the stuff stuck to the cornhusks in each tiny tamale that I ate. They’re great for lunch. But, you can use them in any situation or time. The sticking issue aside, I found myself choosing between a four or a four-and-a-half for them. Let’s say a little bit of Column A, and a little bit from Column B.

Bottom line: Mini Chicken Tamalitos from Trader Joe’s: 8.5 of 10 Golden Spoons