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Pioneer Tamale: possibly early fusion

ChefWilliam's picture

I put this in 'help me find a receipe' but it may get more response here. I have been trying to find this tamale receipe for years and I am increasingly forlorn, trending towards disconsolate. I am considering culinary suicide by eating my own cooking if I don't get help soon.

AN UNUSUAL TAMALE. In the 40's and 50's a fabulous plump, string bound tamale was available from the Pioneer Tamale Factory of Stockton, California. The company is defunct. No one has been able to provide the recipe (including the mayor of Stockton). The filling was a a lot of think, red-brown sauce with hunks of turkey or beef. Multiple tiers of husk were thinly layered with white corn meal. It was not like the usual Texas or Mexico tamale and indeed I have never found a similar tamale. I think the owners were Italian so may have innovated some. Help! Can anyone rescue the wonderful Pioneer Tamale from obscurity?

William van Druten, MD and home chef
wvand@d.umn.edu

kathymcmo's picture

(post #35966, reply #1 of 51)

I don't have any recipe to offer but the SF Chronicle used to have this feature each week in the food section called Recipe Exchange, where people could have their pleas for special recipes published and then readers would send in their recipes if they had it. You could check at SFgate.com to see if that feature is still available, now that I think of it, I haven't seen it lately.

ChefWilliam's picture

(post #35966, reply #2 of 51)

Thank you Kathy, I will put off my auto-homicide long enough to try our good suggestion.

Bill

kathymcmo's picture

(post #35966, reply #3 of 51)

I searched on the Chron's website but couldn't find this feature in the last few months. It may have been cut, the whole paper has far fewer features and less news.


But I did find this contact info, you could try the e-mail and see if she still writes this feature.


Send requests and contributions to The Exchange, Food Department, The Chronicle, 901 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94103. Or e-mail kcraib@sfchronicle.com. Include your name, address, daytime phone number and the source of your recipe. Recipes cannot be returned and have not been tested in The Chronicle kitchen

tomato's picture

(post #35966, reply #4 of 51)

The Sacramento Bee does still have this kind of feature in the weekly food section, and it's even closer to Stockton, so might be well worth a try!

ChefWilliam's picture

(post #35966, reply #6 of 51)

tomato, thanks, I'll try the Bee. What kind of tomato are you?

I spent some military time at Fairfield California, Travis AFB. In summer we could smell the tomatoes and it was glorious.

Bill

tomato's picture

(post #35966, reply #8 of 51)

A Sacratomato, what else? :-)

The feature in the food section is called "The Mailbox." Here's this week's link: http://www.sacbee.com/taste/story/954167.html

The bizarre thing about the way the Bee organizes this is that the new questions are listed, as well as recipes that apparently are in response to questions from previous weeks. But online, the recipes are listed under Recipes, not Mailbox.

It looks like the only way to find out if anyone responded to your question would be to follow the Mailbox until you see your question, then search the recipes every week after that.

Maddening, and part of the reason I usually never look at the Bee's website.

ChefWilliam's picture

(post #35966, reply #5 of 51)

Wow, Kathy, you are a marvel, even a life saver! I tried the Chronicle too.
I'll try the Exchange next.

I' a native San Franciscan now in Duluth MN. I grew up with the Chronicle. Sad it is thinning.

Bill

kathymcmo's picture

(post #35966, reply #7 of 51)

Don't even get me started, I also have read the Chron since I was a child and it breaks my heart to see what it's become. Print news is having a hard time of it. I keep subscribing but really like my local paper (Press Democrat) better, although the Chron food section is still worth reading each week.


I think the idea to try the Sacramento Bee is a good one, and of course if you find the recipe you have to come back and post it here!


And keep away from the sharp knives and window ledges ;-)


Welcome to Cooks Talk. I think that we have another CTer physician from Michigan, Gary. Hope to see you 'round more often.

KarenP's picture

(post #35966, reply #24 of 51)

  LOL!  I did the opposite!  I started in Duluth and am now in the bay area.  I get to come home next week...I can't wait. 

ChefWilliam's picture

(post #35966, reply #27 of 51)

Karen, we have just started to green up here and this morning is clear and glorious at 51 F.
Does San Francisco still have the fog horns? Imagine my surprise on coming to Duluth to hear that old familiar sound.

Bill

KarenP's picture

(post #35966, reply #31 of 51)

   I've seen a few lighthouses but have never heard a foghorn around here...wouldn't that be great! Almost as good as a good thunderstorm.  Fortunately for me, I get to come home fairly often.
   Did I hear that the Pickwick closed?

Marie Louise's picture

(post #35966, reply #9 of 51)

All California cooks need a copy of this book. http://www.amazon.com/California-Rancho-Cooking-Mexican-Californian/dp/1570613842/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product

It is the best book I know about what WE consider "Mexican Food." It's different that Tex-Mex and different than what Diane Kennedy and Rick Bayliss describe.

Page 156 describes an extra-fat tamale. (The recipe starts on page 176.) The author writes for the Chronicle; perhaps she can help you if you email her.


Edited 5/21/2008 7:06 pm by Marie Louise

Jillsifer's picture

(post #35966, reply #10 of 51)

It is the best book I know about what WE consider "Mexican Food." It's different that Tex-Mex


Ooooooooooooohhhhhh, MadMom is gonna getcha for that! (I know this because I"m a veteran of many debates with her over "real" Mexican food--"real" Mexican-American, of course, but CERTAINLY not that Texan stuff.)


And now I'm going into my reinforced underground bunker before she finds me.


;-)


 


 


I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

MadMom's picture

(post #35966, reply #11 of 51)

Found you!  KABOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!!!


Seriously, Cal-Mex and Tex-Mex are quite different, but neither one is MEXICAN food.  Having traveled deep into Mexico (well, actually, all the way through it while driving to Panama) real Mexican food bears no resemblance to either Cal-Mex or Tex-Mex.  FWIW, I like them both, and love honest to gosh Mexican food.  Of course, I was raised on Tex-Mex, so favor that, but can understand those of you from the Wet coast who were raised wrong and don't know any better, LOL.




Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
Jillsifer's picture

(post #35966, reply #12 of 51)

Seriously, Cal-Mex and Tex-Mex are quite different, but neither one is MEXICAN food. 


Oh, my God. You're not SERIOUS, are you? Can this possibly be true?


Next thing you're gonna tell me that my can of Chun King isn't real Chinese food.


And that my masala simmering sauce from Trader Joe's isn't real Indian food.


Stop it, Sharon, just STOP IT before you burst ALL my bubbles.


;-)


 


 


I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

MadMom's picture

(post #35966, reply #13 of 51)

Well, of course Chun King is real Chinese food.  I'm sure samchang would vouch for that. 



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Jillsifer's picture

(post #35966, reply #14 of 51)

Oh, thank heaven. Now maybe I'll stroll by Olive Garden and get me some REAL Italian food.


 


 


 


I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

MadMom's picture

(post #35966, reply #15 of 51)

Silly girl.  Everybody knows that you only get real Italian food at your neighborhood Pizza Hut.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

KarenP's picture

(post #35966, reply #25 of 51)

Well, of course Chung King is real Chinese food


  You doubt a guy named Gino Paluchi would put out authentic Chinese food?

Marie Louise's picture

(post #35966, reply #22 of 51)

<G> That's one of the great thing about this book-it explains the origins of the food we call "Mexican." (It is influenced by the "ranchos" that were Spanish, not Mexican, land grants, but, well, they were both Hispanic...)

avak123's picture

(post #35966, reply #16 of 51)

Ooooooooooooohhhhhh, MadMom is gonna getcha for that! (I know this because I"m a veteran of many debates with her over "real" Mexican food--"real" Mexican-American, of course, but CERTAINLY not that Texan stuff.)


Ahem...she has sent for reinforcements! Don't forget, I know where you live...well, sort of!!! :-)

MadMom's picture

(post #35966, reply #17 of 51)

You go, girl!  Surely we Texans cn outnumber them ignernt Cal-e-fornicators. 



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

avak123's picture

(post #35966, reply #18 of 51)

Surely we Texans cn outnumber them ignernt Cal-e-fornicators. 


A force to be reckoned with, we are!


And I exercised such restraint--I didn't even mention the MAGGOT I found in my Wahoo's fish taco! How's that for fightin' words?

Jillsifer's picture

(post #35966, reply #20 of 51)

Hey, now. Be verrrrrryyyy careful. A couple of us "ignernt Californicators" know a bit about YOUR scarlet past, m'dear. Don't make me call for RuthAnn and Paretsky, okay?


Besides, that whole "might makes right" thing sounds suspiciously like . . . well, it rhymes with "forge push."


LOVE YOU! Mean it!



 


 


I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it.


Edited 5/21/2008 10:55 pm by Jillsifer

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

Jillsifer's picture

(post #35966, reply #19 of 51)

Yes, you do. But I know where all the good stores are! ;-)

 


 


I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

avak123's picture

(post #35966, reply #21 of 51)

I didn't realize Orange County had good stores! ;-)


Seriously, I would love to hook up again and shop all of your good stores! I fully intended on coming out last week but things got too crazy here.


Soon, soon. :-)


Edited 5/21/2008 11:03 pm ET by avak123

Jillsifer's picture

(post #35966, reply #23 of 51)

Oh, DO let me know when you'll be here next. We'll find all the groovy little out-of-the-way places. No malls, no chains.


 


 


I've never been a millionaire, but I just know I'd be darling at it.

Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving

avak123's picture

(post #35966, reply #26 of 51)

Sounds like a wonderful plan!

ChefWilliam's picture

(post #35966, reply #32 of 51)

All right you have had your fun but this is serious.

So far I have had excellent suggestions but no results.

I found a friend via the Sacramento Bee who had eaten a lot of PIONEER TAMALES and wants the recipe too.

So this is your last warning! I am going to eat canned tamales if you don't solve this mystery soon. My suicide will be on your conscience forever!

ChefWilliam

kathymcmo's picture

(post #35966, reply #33 of 51)

Have you tried writing a letter to the editor for the Stockton paper with your plea?


You might just have to try experimenting to see if you can duplicate it!