Casa Fiesta Beef Tamales

My doctor told me last week that I wasn’t getting enough of my fat intake from canned foods.

Actually, he told me that I was lucky to make it to his office from my car, but this is what I would buy if the previous sentence were true. It’s Casa Fiesta’s Beef Tamales in a can. It boasts that it needs no preservatives, which sounds healthy until you realize that it’s packed in its own grease.

The whole idea of tamales in a can would be enough to give some purists a heart attack — and not just from the cholesterol. Real tamales are lovingly made by hand by an Mexican woman and steamed over several hours with obnoxious mariachi music playing in the background.

They are wrapped in either corn husks or banana leaves, both of which are usurped here by the practical-yet-bland parchment paper. All six tamales are individually wrapped and ready for consumption.

For who?

I’m not certain, but I think I fit right into their self-loathing bachelor demographic. Low standards here are important because they’re not what I’d call pretty. In fact, the process of canning and shipping has left these tamales looking a little bit like spent condoms. I’ll let you use your imagination for the chili sauce.

Fortunately, it does not taste awful. I would never dare serve these to other people, but they are good when you are too lazy to cook and want some spicy food out of a can. The masa dough on the outside is passable even though it kind of blends in with the beef. The beef paste has no real discernible texture; it is comparable to a dryer version of Chef Boyardee’s mystery beef.

If it weren’t for the color, I wouldn’t be able to tell where one ended and the other one began. After drenching it in hot sauce and sour cream, however, you will cease caring and begin enjoying this bastardized Mexican classic.

(Nutritional Facts – 2 tamales – 220 calories, 15 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 mg of cholesterol, 680 mg sodium, 14 grams of carbs, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugar, 5 grams of protein, 8% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 2% Calcium, and 4% Iron)

Item: Casa Fiesta Beef Tamales
Price: $1.39
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tastes pretty good once you throw a bunch of stuff on it. Convenient and good to have on hand. No preservatives.
Cons: Very greasy if you don’t scoop out the excess. Lacks any discernible texture. Obnoxious mariachi music. Kind of look like spent condoms.

24 thoughts to “Casa Fiesta Beef Tamales”

  1. Thank you, Ace. I finally know what used condoms look like, which will help me prove that I’m not a virgin, but really am.

  2. Um, that picture is definitely teh yuck. I suppose if I was desperate and blindfolded I might try them. Actually, “desperate and blindfolded” is a good description of my sex life these days.

  3. So i was reading your “about me” entry, and discovered that one of the writers from the random food blog i picked up lives right near my hometown.

    You mentioned going to high school with “shitty food that is only saved by buckets of ranch”. That sounded like a pretty good description of my school’s food, which was why i brought a lunch to school every day. You wouldn’t happen to be a BOHS alum, now would you?

    Also, that’s a pretty accurate description of how tamales are made.

  4. I think they look pretty good. Think I’ll drop by Target after work then make my boyfriend a “home-cooked” fancy gourmet meal:)

  5. Canned Tamales.. I used to love them as a kid, but since I learned to make them, no longer. Still, Ace is right, in a pinch, canned tamales can be edible. Great review.

  6. Those things look more like albino turds (not the turd of an albino, mind you) than spent condoms. The “sauce” isn’t really helping in presentation. I should start reading TIB while eating, I’m sure the pounds will start melting away!
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. I actually had these a couple of months ago, while I was even more poverty-stricken than usual, and looking for bargain meals.
    I agree with Ace, they’re much better than you’d think, especially with sour cream added. Probably best to avoid looking at them while eating them, if you see what I mean. Not pretty.

  8. That picture is way funk and of course you wouldn’t dare serve these to other people…but if you wanted to try to pull it off or need some easy late night food – break up the tamales into a pan, toss in a can of corn, and top with cheddar. Cover and cook for 5 minutes and they will appear pretty dang edible!

  9. Ew! No!!! This is so wrong!! I’m thinking I need to make you a nice home cooked meal and fedex it to you.

    Young bachelors do not need to eat like this!!!!

    (Marvo, that goes for you too)

  10. Quitcher bitchen…I got a can of these in a Salvation Army food box once and they hit the spot. A little rice and a can of these babies will fill an empty tummy.

  11. Wow… first stawberry milkshake oreo vaginas and now tamales used-condoms!? Forget occasionally ruining my appetite, this site is starting to ruin my sex drive! And yet I keep reading and laughing. Thanks for the entertaining review. 😉

  12. Wow, that looks awful!!! You must have a tummy of iron:-)

    I know I go on about Trader Joe’s, but they sell a really nice 2 tamale package. In husks. That you can steam in 7 minutes. So that you don’t have to eat that stuff from a can ever again!

  13. tamales don’t take that long to steam. maybe 25-30 mins and man i don’t think i’ll ever want to help my mom make them again cause you’ve ruined it for me the look like …uhhhh-gly…

  14. Oh my god. I’ve found the least visually appealing food in the world, less appealing than black rooster ball soup or wang on a stick. Even less appealing than roast dog (which actually sounds tasty). Although the images of marinated stinky tofu at Dai’s House of Unique Stink may tie with this.

  15. This is a textbook example of why I try to avoid canned stuff as much as possible.

    Really the plate looks gross, do these come with a free stomach pump?

  16. Marvo – I thought you would have had sex with at least three girls on the way home from the chest waxing.

    Chuck – Still better than “brick and duct tape” I guess.

    Joe – I am a Century grad from Santa Ana, we didn’t have enough self esteem to eat anything that would make us feel good.

    Terry – Maybe if I beg, he’ll send me his crumbs.

    Dawn – I don’t, but maybe I’ll need a stomach made of staples if I let myself go.

    Eryn – Is that you, Sandra Lee?

    Bikerbabeee – Yes, it’s hard to have high expectations out of anything in a can. Except for Dinty Moore Beef Stew. I look like a dog lapping up that gravy.

    SheRa – Doesn’t that sound like something you could convince kids? That albinos have white turds, I mean.

    StephanieS – I tried doing this, but it was very, very messy.

    Brie – That’s what I told my conditioning coach after I bench pressed 125 pounds, I wish you were there to back me up.

  17. skibs – Sounds pretty good. I’ve heard of people breaking this stuff up and using as dip, I guess it depends on imagination/how high you are.

    Kylie – I hope people reading this blog don’t think I eat like this all the time. It’s strictly for business and entertainment purposes. Seven times a week.

    Alex Lifeson – I agree, they’re not that bad. You’re talking to a guy who has a giant box of army MRE’s in his closet, I’ll pretty much eat anything if I’m hungry enough.

    LK – If there’s one thing I’ve been known to be good at, it’s ruining sex drives.

    demondoll – Yeah, I like the Trader Joe’s stuff too, but there’s something satisfying about reaching into your closet and pulling out dinner.

    JOSH!!! – Remember to have a barf bag nearby when you read this site.

    MintWrecker – The scars will fade over time.

    Reprobate – Is wang on a stick what I think it is?

    Bokkie – I think you can get one if you send in 5 UPC’s and $.50.

  18. Parchment paper? Really? If you left it on the tamales, you might get a slight bit of nutrition from the fiber.

    And your visual comparison disturbs me greatly! I will be sure to let the wait staff at El Arriero to make mine not look like that.

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