Today my sister received a rude awakening as to the true cost of inflation.
Here in our region of the world, Texas, you can find a dozen tamales for around $5-6. That’s a pretty typical price range. My sister had pre-ordered 3 dozen tamales from an acquaintance last week. When she went to go pick them up today she was stunned to discover that the $20 she had with her would not cover the price of her 3 dozen tamales. Nope she was short $10.
Turns out that tamales now cost $10/dozen. Or at least they did today. The reasoning for the steep price? The cost of the meat had gone up considerably hence the price increase. The reason the meat had gone up was because the cost of the grain the cow eats had gone up and so had the gas used to transport it to market.
Now here in San Antonio there is an area of town where Tamale Factories are lined up and down the street. Great selection and competition keeps the price in the $4.50-5.50 range. Or at least that was the cost earlier this year. Now after hearing my sisters tale of inflation, I wonder if we will see a similar jump in cost per dozen.
I have the urge to go down Tamale Road to check prices in anticipation of the upcoming holidays. Maybe I’ll test out a tamale or two to make sure the quality hasn’t changed even if the price has.
If you think prices are high, why don’t you make your own. Then you will see that even high priced tamales are a bargain. It is brutal and long hours of work to produce them. Plus with the “War” in Mexico ( over 50,000 dead in five years,) cost of high quality shucks is through the roof. Add to that as mentioned the exponential rising high cost of corn, meat, spices, utilities and transportation this makes even $15.00 soon going to $18.00 a dozen even reasonable. That is what I charge and people pay willingly once they try to make them themselves.
This post was from a couple of years ago. At the time the price of the tamales was higher in comparison to what we could find in our local area. The real kicker to this whole situation wasn’t necessarily the price, but that they were terrible. The masa was thick, dry and had no flavor. There was very little meat and the little of it that there was had absolutely no flavor as well.
I’ve never been one to mind paying for good food. In this case the high price mixed with the terrible taste made for a very bad experience. Especially knowing at the time that I could have gotten some that were so much better for a lot less money.
BTW, I have made many a tamale in my day. I know how much work it takes to make them. This post had nothing to do with that and everything to do with paying too much for something that was not worth it. Which could apply to just about anything. In this case, tamales.
Best of luck to you and your tamale business.
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