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Tamale Season: Line Wraps Around Downey Market for Masa

Tis the season for tamales, and the time it takes just to buy the perfect masa.

Two to three hours seems to be the going rate to wait in line before you can enter the Amapola Market in Downey.

Only 10 groups at a time are allowed to enter the store to pick up what I’m told is the perfect masa.

From the first timers, to the experienced, everyone lined up to get some masa just in time for Christmas.

“I think I’ve only tried one other masa, but this one’s the best. And I’ve only used this one. This one’s it,” one customer said.  

“They make line as early as 1 in the morning,” Adina Lopez, Amapola spokesperson said. 

Lopez with Amapola Market says what makes their masa so special is they use the cleanest, highest-quality masa ingredients — prepared in the ancient way.

“You know, it’s trying to find the non-gmo, top-quality corn for the masa. You have to cook it, you have to let it cool down, then you grind it, then you add the ingredients,” Lopez said. 

All-in-all it’s a process that would take someone more than ten hours to make at home, much longer and tougher than to just wait in line.

Besides, around here, waiting for masa is just part of the Christmas tradition. 

“It’s worth the wait. This masa is really good. I’ve tried other masa from other places and this — you can’t compare it to this,” another customer said. 

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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