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Tamales tour strikes a nerve, or several

Times columnist Steve Lopez has handled some touchy issues in his time. Add one more: tamales. In his column this morning, Lopez accompanied Sandi Romero of Mama's Hot Tamales near MacArthur Park on a tamales tour of Los Angeles. Or would that be a "tamal tour"? Sure, it seemed like a nice, safe Christmas topic, but among the many nerves he touched with readers was  spelling: "tamales" is the plural, "tamal" is the singular and "tamale"? They say it just doesn't exist.

But that's all linguistics. For us, the bigger issue is leaving Liliana's off the list. Come on Steve, how could you?

By the way, on Thursday, the Food section's Critics Choice will have a sampler of restaurants serving tamales and tamal-type dishes from around Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. What are your favorite sources for tamales?


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-- Russ Parsons

Photo credit: Julia Cheng/Los Angeles Times

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