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Mr. Tamole team brings authentic tamales to town

Mr. Tamole sells tamales, steamed in cornhusks heavy with fillings — chicken with mole; pork carnitas, cheddar jack cheese and salsa; poblanos and cheddar jack, and more; then mole or salsa on the side.
Mr. Tamole sells tamales, steamed in cornhusks heavy with fillings — chicken with mole; pork carnitas, cheddar jack cheese and salsa; poblanos and cheddar jack, and more; then mole or salsa on the side.

For years, Andres Medina Carreto, now 30, told his mother, Margarita Carreto, it’s not easy to come by authentic tamales in the Boston area, or for that matter, mole sauce like hers. Finally persuaded, Margarita came on board to help her son with his plan. They acquired a mobile stand with a stove and running water, and started Mr. Tamole, a moniker that marries tamales and mole. The mother-son team brings it to farmers’ markets to sell tamales, steamed in cornhusks lined with the moistest of masa and heavy with fillings — chicken with mole; pork carnitas, cheddar jack cheese and salsa; poblanos and cheddar jack, and more; then mole or salsa on the side ($7.50 to $11). There are vegan choices offered as well. So is Mexican street corn slathered with mayonnaise, sprinkled with cheese and chili powder ($4) and spiced charro beans ($5). You‘ll see a crowd clustered at the stand wherever they go. The family’s roots are in Puebla, Mexico, where mole supposedly originated. One of Andres’s intents in starting the business was to show off his mom’s cooking, especially her fragrant, dark mahogany mole sauce, a family recipe passed down verbally through generations. “I can do some cooking, but I can’t do the mole,” says Andres. They prep ingredients at CommonWealth Kitchen, the food incubator in Dorchester, where Margarita spends hours roasting vegetables, removing seeds from chiles, chopping chocolate, grinding spices, slicing and dicing by hand to make the sauce. Traditionally made with 40 ingredients, Margarita says, “My mother downsized it to 24 and I downsized it to 23.” Her objective for the operation differs from her son’s. “My mission is to share our culture through food,” she says. Find Mr. Tamole at SoWa and Egleston farmers’ markets and the farmers’ markets at City Hall, East Boston, Roslindale, and Melrose. For the schedule visit www.mrtamole.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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