We’ve always loved these neat little packages of deliciousness and would snatch them up from street vendors in Bocas whenever we got a chance. But now if you’re at La Loma on a Saturday, you’ll be getting them straight from the bubbling pot under the lodge.
Tamale queen Maria (girlfriend of Mr Kelly, La Loma’s resident farm manager and all round super guy) works through the night on Fridays, soaking then boiling dried corn, creating some kind of magical spicy masa (dough), sandwiching in chicken or fresh white cheese, deftly wrapping the contents in a freshly cut bijao leaf and then boiling the parcels over an open fire. Mr Kelly wants it to be known that he’s not just sitting around watching Maria at work. He performs the crucial tasks of collecting dry firewood and seeking out the perfectly succulent bijao leaves.