Where Local and Global Appetites Collide
Tucson Tamale Marries Mamma Llama Empanada

Tucson Tamale Marries Mamma Llama Empanada

Mamma Llama is back
all hail the empanada

Tucson Tamale Marries Mamma Llama Empanada

(sounds like a Dr. Seuss rhyme)

This makes perfect sense for Tucson Tamale Company to reach out and want to get in bed with (might not be the right visual) with those delectable Mama Llama Empanadas that have been missing from the Tucson marketplace.

from the press release

(TUCSON, Ariz.) February 20 — Mamma Llama Empanadas are returning to the kitchen to bring back their popular varieties of traditional and eclectic empanadas, now available at all three Tucson Tamale locations. Voted “Best Empanadas” in 2008 through 2011, the restaurant closed its doors in 2012.

Kris Masalsky and Vicki Sims started the company in 1999 selling their handmade baked turnovers at Tucson-area farmers markets, eventually opening their Eastside restaurant in 2001.

“The first time either of us tried an empanada was years ago during our individual travels to South America,” said Sims. Years later in Tucson, Masalsky and Sims met and discovered their shared love of South America and obsession with empanadas.

“We started making empanadas inspired by the traditional flavors we ate in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador,” said Masalsky. “But soon we started thinking, what else can we put inside an empanada?” The pair began improvising with non-traditional ingredients and creating unique empanadas borrowing flavors from cultural traditions outside of South America.

“I was definitely addicted to the Peruvian Twist,” said Tucson Tamale owner Todd Martin who, for years, has been trying to bring back Mamma Llama Empanadas. “Kris and Vicki do with empanadas what we do with tamales, and am so excited we’ve found a way to partner with them to bring their delicious fare back to the Tucson market.”

Four flavors are available for take-and-bake purchase, with one of these flavors selected daily as a hot empanada-of-the-day special. They include:

  • Viva Argentina: a traditional combination of savory beef, green olives, tomatoes, spices and sweet raisins
  • Peruvian Twist: decadent and creamy with artichokes, green chiles and cheese
  • Buenos Dias: eggs, chiles and cheese
  • Peachy Keen: a dessert option with peaches, craisins and walnuts

Kris Masalsky and Vicki Sims will be handing out empanada samples at each of these Tucson Tamale locations from 1- 3 PM on March 8 at 7286 N Oracle Rd, and March 22 at 2545 E. Broadway Blvd. On March March 8 and March 22 guests can also enjoy buy-one-get-one packages of empanadas from the location where Kris and Vicki will be handing out samples (limit 2 free packages).

For more information  follow Tucson Tamale online.

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