The pale- and incredibly foul-looking cylinders of evil pictured above are the contents of a can of Senora Verde Beef Tamales, directly as emptied onto a paper plate. Some of them retained their paper sleeves as the can was tipped, others slipped from them like vile giant larvae shedding their outgrown skin. They were supposedly packed in "sauce," but that proved to be merely a watery tomato-flavored bile with a thick film of bright red grease floating on top. The "sauce" was easily disposed of, but globs of the grease stuck sort of randomly to everything else (including the plate, my fingers, and the walls of the microwave when I heated up this mess at work.)
Fast and cheap beef tamales don't have to be bad. I've picked up packages of them at the dollar store that were pretty decent. But these...things...were hideous.
Despite the illustration on the label showing a thick meaty center surrounded by a layer of corn, the tamales that actually writhed from the can were much more heavily maize-based. It was difficult to tell exactly where the cornmeal stopped and the meat began, but it was immediately apparent when I cut through the center of one that the beef filling was little more than a thin line running down the middle of each flaccid cornwobble.
Sometimes I get a product that looks terrible, but then redeems itself with an enjoyable flavor. Not so with these tamales. Eating them only made the experience worse. The texture was disgusting - slippery and about as resilient as melty gelatine - and the greasy globs that clung to everything gave a tallowy coating to the roof of my mouth. The tallow carried through in the flavor, but there were also backnotes of rancid corn and slightly "off" canner-grade beef with the overall sourness of tomato sauce that has just started to go bad. I managed to eat two or three bites before tipping the whole pile of shit into the bin, which is two or three bites more than anyone should ever have to eat of these goddamn yellow turds.