Sunday, November 11, 2012
the honey bee is a single-location, family-owned grocer in mexicantown, detroit. other than its jaunty logo of a perky bee in mexican garb holding a pepper, it is also virtuous for selling tamales made in-house: a dozen of the same stuffing (your choice of braised pork, chicken, or jalapeno cheese) for $7.99. while tamales freeze well and are a handy midnight snack, the tamale-buyer's perennial problem remains: how to get a variety of tamales without buying more dozens of them than is prudent? while i stood before the counter smelling the piercing orange flower fragrance of nixtamalized corn, surveying the offerings, and wishing for a bag of mixed tamales, a fellow-shopper mused aloud: "it'd be so nice to get a mixed dozen of the pork and the cheese." to which the counter-lady replied: "we can't break those dozens, sorry." turning to my crestfallen fellow-shopper, i said, "would you like to hear a great idea for tamale distribution that will likely result in a pareto improvement?"
useful notes: 1) putting the bag down on a case of canned beans makes it easier to count hot tamales, 2) when transferring a hot tamale from one bag to another, do not pick it up by the twisted end, and 3) tamales don't look like they ooze enough to merit double bagging, but they do.