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From Puebla to Torrance: This Tamalero Makes LA’s ‘Super-Super-Duper’ Sized Tamales

From Puebla to Torrance, Valerio Campos started selling tamales from the back of his sedan until he found this brick-and-mortar in Torrance to rent. He thought to himself making bigger tamales would be better for business. His business idea has paid off, going through as many as 20,000 of his girthy stumps of masa during the Christmas season alone.

9:46 AM PDT on July 12, 2023

    Memo Torres|

    The Super Tamal from The Tamale Man

    "These tamales will change your life," according to The Tamale Man of Torrance, Valerio Campos. That's the first thing he tells every new customer, greeting each person with the same rehearsed sales pitch to try his super tamales, possibly the largest tamales in the South Bay if not all of Los Angeles.

    Photo by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.

    Campos follows his greeting by explaining his three main off-menu options: the Super Tamal, the Super Duper Tamal, and the Super Super Duper Tamal. All three come with a giant tamal of your choosing served on a plate with rice and beans. The tamal is split open, letting a cloud of steam escape and revealing its meaty insides. Depending on your ordered super duper, one, two, or three types of meat are added with more salsa, mozzarella, and sliced avocado to top them off.

    Valerio Campos, The Tamale Man. Photo by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.

    These girthy stumps of masa are already proportionately filled with chicken or beef with salsa roja, pork with salsa verde, or jalapeños with cheese. Adding more meat to these already stuffed tamales makes these a meat lover's boat of masa.

    The Super Super Duper Tamale Plate from The Tamale Man. Photo by Memo Torres for L.A. TACO.

    So why does Campos make his tamales so big? He wanted his tamales to stand out from the others around Los Angeles. From Puebla, Mexico, to Torrance, Campos started selling tamales from the back of his sedan until he found this brick-and-mortar in Torrance to rent. He thought to himself making bigger tamales would be better for business. It has worked for him. He tells L.A. TACO that he sells as many as 20,000 of these during Christmas. That's a lot of masa.

    But it shows that in a city known for its diversity, even tamales can come in different sizes. From the tiniest tamales to super-super-duper ones, Los Angeles has it all.

    The Tamale Man, 1654 W. Carson St, Torrance. Closest transit line and stop: GTrans Line 2 - "Western/Carson."

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