This product is a culinary dinosaur. Some 100 years ago, there was an Americanization of Mexican cooking that took place. What were dishes from our neighbor to the south, were Americanized and there was born the notion that they should be fancied up and called “Spanish.” Hence, we have “Spanish” rice and “Spanish” sauces neither of which have anything to do with peninsular Spain, but everything to do with Mexico. Typical Mexican dishes were transformed into new creations such as tamale “pie.” A problem for the average American household was how to spice these dishes. Spice blends such as L&d SPANISH STYLE SEASONING were created. They simplified cooking and made dishes taste authentic (almost.)
But “tamale pie” for those of us of a certain age, was a special treat. Almost exotica. While nothing like traditional tamales, tamale pie was not wrapped in corn husks and steamed, but is a baked casserole dish. However, on page 263 in El Cocinero Español, California’s earliest foreign language cookbook, published in San Francisco in 1898 by Encarnación Pinedo, she writes about “Tamales al vapor” as “Última novedad,” the latest fashion. In the recipe a pan is lined with “masa,” prepared cornmeal, filled with chicken or other meat and covered with masa and steamed in a pan of water for several hours. It seems obvious that the fiddly part of tamale production, wrapping with the “hojas” or dried corn husks, is avoided. I do not know if this “latest fashion” was created from the American tamale pie or gave rise to it. However it is, the recipe for tamale pie on the little jar of L&D SPANISH STYLE SEASONING makes a delicious dish and even if you use this seasoning only for it, L&D SEASONING is well worth its cost.
L&D SPANISH STYLE SEASONING, born in 1920, has had three owners; the original founders, the first purchaser and now the Patterson family. L&D SEASONING has been sold at Corti Brothers ever since we started in business back in 1947.