I imagine I will certainly catch some vendors unprepared for my interviews at the Farmer's Market. Shirley from Donna's Tamales was kind enough to send me MORE details about their wonderful products that delight so many of the Bay Area fans. Thank you Shirley, I look forward to visiting the factory where all the magic takes place!
"We have been in the vegetarian and vegan tamale business for 18 years. All of our original recipes are created by Donna Eichhorn , owner and founder. What makes our tamales unique from all other tamales available in the bay area is the use of fresh ground masa (corn dough). We do not use corn flour nor any leavening agents (baking soda or powder). We use pure olive oil as our fat source and our tamales are the lowest fat tamales in the Bay Area.
Our tamales are made fresh for each market and delivery at a certified kitchen in San Rafael by a highly trained staff of five supervised by Donna herself. We make five to six thousand tamales a week, plus burritos, pupusas, salsas and enchamales (Donna invented the enchamale and trademarked the name). Our tamales are made in small batches, hand scooped and rolled to ensure the highest quality.
A small batch of tamales (3 dozen) would take 3-6 hours depending on the filling. So as you can see tamales are a labor of love and are generally prepared in families only for special occasions.
I agree with Shawn that our highest selling tamales are the Cheese Chile Corn and the Smoked Cheddar with Black Beans. Close on their heels is our Goat Cheese Tamales and our Vegan Tamales. We are almost as famous for our fabulous burritos as we are our tamales. Many farmers start their market day with a hot breakfast burrito from Donna’s or end the day with a Donna’s Burrito. Don’t forget about our delicious Vegan Burrito!!
Our tamales meet the needs of many people with specialty diets since our tamales are gluten free and contain no added sugar. Several of our tamales do not contain garlic, onions or tomatoes. We make tamales without anything spicy at all. In fact, our just corn tamales are delicious with maple syrup and fresh fruit on them, like a hot corn cake without all the fuss. Because we are in the markets throughout the bay area our tamales also follow the season. Soon we will have Asparagus tamales to trumpet in the spring!"