Food of the Eighties, XLNT Tamales
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Description
These Tamales came in a white wrapper. You either got a large one or could buy a bag with 3 tamales in it. No company will ever make a tamale that tasted like these!!
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User Stories and Comments

The following are comments left about XLNT Tamales from site visitors such as yourself. They are not spell checked or reviewed for accuracy.

Mary Agnes Harris - June 09, 2007 - Report this comment
It's More like XLNT Tamales are a Food of the 60's!!!!!!!! But, they are RIGHT, no others taste as good!! I went to HS in CA, and we had a "Snack Shak" in the Quad and I ate them for Lunch almost Every day, along w/ a bag of Cheetos and a Coke!! MMMMMMMM What a Fond Memory that is!!
Barb - July 08, 2007 - Report this comment
These are so good, have a great recipe for them.
So. Ca Gal - December 09, 2007 - Report this comment
You can buy them in S. California - any Albertsons. S. Ca had the best food ever! Danny Dogs, Tommy's, Fatburger, InNOut, Xlnt tamales and chili. Many are available elsewhere, but you have to go to the original locations in S. Ca to get the real taste. I can't live without them so I have family send them to me in N. California.
Horhay - January 16, 2008 - Report this comment
I grew up with these. My family owned the company that made them. It was called Alex's Foods in Anaheim, Ca. I recently saw them in some store. It may have been Albertsons. They also made pinata burritos that I used to get at the snack shack at school. I used to put ketchup on them - yuk! They've since sold the co. and I have not had one in probably a decade. I think I will head to Albertsons this week to pick some up.
Donna - April 02, 2008 - Report this comment
I lived in Southern California in the late 70's thru the middle 80's My husband and I love XLNT Tamales and would love to be able to order them problem is we now live in NC and have no idea where to purchase this product could any one help
Roy - April 03, 2008 - Report this comment
Hey Donna y Everyone: Just found this! This is what you are looking for! http://www.donmiguel.com/
Denise - April 08, 2008 - Report this comment
Horhay, Is your Family, Alex Morales?? I'm looking for someone from that family. Isabel Morales, daughter of Alex, any thoughts???
Mike in Fresno - May 10, 2008 - Report this comment
We just found some XLNT Tamales at a local grocer, and they are NOT what they used to be :( After I got home with them, after not having one in years, I was horrified by the smell, and taste. However, the "use by date" said to use product by 2 days ago, so they might be bad, but even so, they still smell really funny. I'm hoping they are just bad, because I loved these tamales as a kid growing up in Long Beach!
Gerd Peters - May 28, 2008 - Report this comment
I too, have fond memories of these store bought Tamales. I used to buy these in the 70's when visiting my sister in Southern Cal. They were the "bomb" for this young Canuck teen guy back then. Frozen and Wrapped in white plastic, weeped when you boiled them at 2 AM. Damn, They were good !!! I have had authentic Tamales many times, but nothing meets that boiled bag, pasty memory from the past. Funny how the little things mean so much now. still cravin' XLNT in Canada.
Angela S. Cal transplanted to N.Cal - June 18, 2008 - Report this comment
I just have to say that I miss Danny's Dogs in the Valley and XLNT tamales. But, they are in Albertsons in S. Cal. Funny thing, they do have carrot strips in them now - I don't remember that part. And, Tommy's, IN N OUT and the others are what makes S. Cal the best part of the U.S. I miss that good, greasy, calorie laden food and I am a very healthy adult, just the same.
Bryan - July 08, 2008 - Report this comment
Hey Horhay: Looking for some history...where did your family purchase XLNT from?
Scott Kathan - August 04, 2008 - Report this comment
I'm quite happy to report that XLNT tamales are alive and kicking in Northern California. You can buy them at Smart and Final (in San Mateo or Redwood City)!
George - September 27, 2008 - Report this comment
I just had one. I find them from time to time frozen at the grocery outlet. I like them! The bag said xlnt foods inc. 174 w foothill blvd #322 monrovia ca 91076
Lisa G - November 09, 2008 - Report this comment
Hey So. Ca Gal. You say you have a recipe for these??? It's been almost a year since you posted, so I'm really hoping you keep up on this site!
Jim Cooke - November 16, 2008 - Report this comment
Went to Hoarce Mann JR. High in Los Angeles in the mid 50's. One of the guys at school was the son of the owner I was told. He had a neat 55 Plymouth Fury in Jr. Hi. ??? Was his dad the person that owned the Morales Bros. sprint car that raced at Ascot?
Jin Cooke - November 16, 2008 - Report this comment
Forgot insert the name of the race car. "Tamale Wagon"
Helen Sparks-Cole - December 08, 2008 - Report this comment
In the 60's & 70's I used to eat these XLNT Tamales and they were great! I haven't had any tamales as good as those since. I went to Washington High (L.A.) I live in Austin TX now, and would really love to taste those XLNT tamales again! Is there a store anywhere in Texas that sells them? HELP!!!
Bill - December 09, 2008 - Report this comment
As a kid I remember the plant was on valley boulevard on the way to lincoln park. If my memory serves me correctly you could get them hot and only paid 5 cents. Of course this was back in the early 1950's. Hillside village was a great place to grow up and Multnomah was a great elementary school
DOB 1980 - December 12, 2008 - Report this comment
Hey All... I don't think I've had these tamales before, but after reading all your comments about them, I couldn't help but look up some info. XLNT has there own website and list of stores you can find their Tamales. If you're interested to see them around your area they have a contact site that wants to hear from you! =0) Good Luck! http://www.xlntfoods.com/store-locations/
Denise Rockwell - December 17, 2008 - Report this comment
Alex Tamale Co. Factory and Vehicles, Anaheim Alex Tamale Co. factory, opened in the 1920s and located at 415 South Olive Street, Anaheim; company began in 1906 when Alex Morales, Sr. rode a horse-drawn wagon through the streets of Anaheim selling his wife's home-cooked tamales; in 1915 operated a restaurant on North Los Angeles Street (now Anaheim Blvd.); currently on Orangethorpe Avenue, Alex Foods Inc. incorporated in 1951; image shows portion of back and side of the factory at left, with eight delivery vehicles parked along the wall; vehicles painted on the side with "ALEX'S" and on the doors with "ALEX TAMALE CO. / 415 SO. OLIVE ST. / ANAHEIM, CALIF. / PHONE 3520"; residence at 424 South Olive is visible across the street in the background. Date:ca. 1950 (issued)
Denise Rockwell - December 17, 2008 - Report this comment
Founded in 1908 as Alex Foods, now Don Miguel Mexican Foods, Inc. relocated to 1501 W. Orangewood Ave.,donmiguel.com, is one of the largest premium prepared food manufacturers in southern California. Current brands include: El Charrito Dinners and Entrees, Don Miguel Burritos, XLNT Chili con Carne and Tamales, Pinata Burritos, Lean Ole'! 98% Fat Free Dinners, Entrees and Burritos. Lucca Ravioli, Tortellini and Pasta Sauce are also manufactured by Don Miguel Mexican Foods, Inc.
Steve K. - December 17, 2008 - Report this comment
Several years ago I traveled to SoCal on business and returned to the East with some of the “new breed” XLNT tamales. I was disappointed! They were NOT the super tasty tamales that I remember from the 60s and 70s when I originally had them. The new ones were much smaller, had too much masa, and no black olive trapped inside! The only thing that remained unchanged was the packaging. If the company reverts to the original style, I’d make a special trip out there and buy a truck load!
Tony W. - December 25, 2008 - Report this comment
Merry Christmas to all! Tamales for Christmas is a "tradition" in Arizona that I did not grow up with, but out searching for xlnt tamales, I could not find them. I grew up in Bakersfield, California in the 50's and 60's and remember the large white wrapped tamales in the frozen food department at Thriftymart. They were the best. By the way, as bad as it sounds, ketchup is the way to go with tamales in California. The only way to go!
Debbie - March 05, 2009 - Report this comment
Grew up in So. Calif. XlNT tamales are the best. Live in OK now and can't buy them. Usually pick up a few dozen when I'm in Vegas in the winter time and bring them back on the plane. My kids love them.
Tim P - April 26, 2009 - Report this comment
They use to sell XLNT tamales and chili at the Fred Meyer stores here in Oregon. The last time I bought 3 packages and when I got them home to cook I found they had expired SIX MONTHS prior to the time I bought them. What a disipointment. I have visited SoCal the past couple of summers and they still sell them there. I also spent many afternoons at my Huntington Beach HS quad eating them for lunch. Like everything else, quality has suffered in the mad quest for profits above a quality product. Too bad.
JD - April 27, 2009 - Report this comment
Anyone remember the XLINT mini-tacos? I still live in SoCal and I love the XLINT tamales, but I sorely miss are the XLINT mini-tacos that came in that little aluminum tray that I would heat and eat. Anyone know if the mini-tacos still exist?
JR - June 03, 2009 - Report this comment
Living in Dallas now, but liveD in Los Angeles in the 50's. love those tamales XLINT. Where can I buy in Dallas?
KV - August 02, 2009 - Report this comment
Grew up in San Fernando Valley,and one of our favorite foods was tamale pie,made with XLNT tamales. I have been in AZ for 17 years now, and no other tamales taste the same. I miss them and chili beans made with XLNT con carne.
rich - August 14, 2009 - Report this comment
i would like to know where to get them in nor calif
qme - August 26, 2009 - Report this comment
Oh how I miss those tamales. I ate them when I was pregnant with my first son. He turned out great.
Cheryl - August 30, 2009 - Report this comment
I to love the XLNT tamales. In the 1980's 3 men came into Acapoco Rest. For a couple of drinks. They said they were having their 50 yr. reunion for Anaheim High School that day. They said they started the XLNT Tamale Co. That they sold it years ago. But they were the start of the Tamale, it was several different names to make the name (XLNT). They talked about the horse tieup post still on Garden Grove Blvd. I had a great day at work just listening to all of their stories. That day listening to their stories put me in a really good mood.
Angela from So Cal, moved to No Cal and back to So Cal- for good! - October 04, 2009 - Report this comment
Xlnt tamales were great and so were the burritos at the Snac Shak at Porter Jr. High in Granada Hills. Danny Dogs on Van Nuys was even better in the 70s and you can't find chili dogs like that anymore. Love all the posts, they bring back memories.
Jeff - December 13, 2009 - Report this comment
Mike in Fresno Liz was my grandmother, Richard my Father, Alex and brothers all my great uncles. Sorry to say but Liz just passed. I have more info if you would like it. rcmqtip at yahoo and hi Denise...lol.
Cookie - January 11, 2010 - Report this comment
I contacted the company, they are only available in So. and No. California..Albertsons carry them. To me they are still the same.. I drive 80 miles round trip to purchase them. Just like In-N-Out ..if it works don't make changes..
Glen from Cave Creek - January 17, 2010 - Report this comment
I am from LA and grew on XLNT chili and tamales. Cannot get XLNT products here in Arizona. Whenever I go to California I empty the grocery store and bring back a cooler full of chili and tamales. Pinks hotdogs are made with XLNT chili.
Linda in Las Vegas - February 20, 2010 - Report this comment
I purchased XLNT tamales today at Glazer's Marketplace, a non-union market here in Las Vegas, so I could make the 60's "tamale pie" recipe my Mom used for many years when growing up. Hopefully it will be great and delicious like she mentioned in the recipe.
Ted - March 16, 2010 - Report this comment
So many of you guys are getting two brands completely mixed up. Alex's Tamales were NOT the same brand as XLNT Tamales. Alex's Tamales had a different consistency and tasted different. They were my favorite in the 50's and 60's and you can't buy them any longer. Got it???? Read and look!!!
Ted - March 16, 2010 - Report this comment
For those who still don't understand, XLNT Tamales are the ones that you can still buy today. Alex's Tamelas are long gone. You can't get them anymore! I liked them better, but they are no longer made!!! I hope that this is clear enough. We can eat the XLNT Tamales with memories of the long gone ALEX's Tamales. OK?????? This is not rocket science.
Coastwizard - April 05, 2010 - Report this comment
Oh yeah, I remember XLNT Tamales alright! I grew up in So Cal and enjoyed them for years until I moved to the midwest. Then I couldn't find them anywhere. After years of searching and settling for inferior products, I finally decided to try and reproduce their recipe. I've posted the results here, and I think you'll find that it's pretty much on target. Not as easy as just going out and buying them, but a good alternative. Tamales, "XLNT" Style 2 lbs. lean ground beef 3 T. red wine vinegar 2 cans (10 1/2 oz each) beef bouillon 1 t. onion powder 1 1/2 t. garlic powder 1 t. ground cumin 1/4 t. cayenne pepper 1/4 t. paprika 2 large carrots, finely grated 1 1/3 c. lard or solid shortening or butter 4 c. masa flour 2 t. salt 2 T. chili powder Brown ground beef in pan, breaking up as it cooks; drain. Add 1 can bouillon and next six (6) ingredients; cover; reduce heat and simmer. Whip lard with electric mixer in large bowl until fluffy. Add flour, salt, and remaining can of bouillon (with enough water added to make 2 2/3 cups). Mix until dough holds together well. Cut at least twelve 12" x 7" rectangles of aluminum foil. Remove meat mixture from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then puree meat mixture in food processor until of a paste consistency. For each tamale, place a 2 inch ball of dough near the end of a strip of foil, and spread to form a square about 5" x 5". Make sure one end of the masa square touches the end of the foil strip. Put about 1/4 cup of meat in the center of the masa square. Roll foil from end until edges of tamale meet; press together; finish rolling foil around tamale. Crimp ends of foil tightly shut; set aside. When all tamales are wrapped in foil, place them in a colander set in large pot of boiling water. (Do not allow the water to come into contact with the tamales.) Cover; reduce heat to simmer, and steam the tamales for 45 minutes. Makes 12 large tamales
Coastwizard - April 05, 2010 - Report this comment
Oh yeah, I remember XLNT Tamales alright! I grew up in So Cal and enjoyed them for years until I moved to the midwest. Then I couldn't find them anywhere. After years of searching and settling for inferior products, I finally decided to try and reproduce their recipe. I've posted the results here, and I think you'll find that it's pretty much on target. Not as easy as just going out and buying them, but a good alternative. Tamales, "XLNT" Style 2 lbs. lean ground beef 3 T. red wine vinegar 2 cans (10 1/2 oz each) beef bouillon 1 t. onion powder 1 1/2 t. garlic powder 1 t. ground cumin 1/4 t. cayenne pepper 1/4 t. paprika 2 large carrots, finely grated 1 1/3 c. lard or solid shortening or butter 4 c. masa flour 2 t. salt 2 T. chili powder Brown ground beef in pan, breaking up as it cooks; drain. Add 1 can bouillon and next six (6) ingredients; cover; reduce heat and simmer. Whip lard with electric mixer in large bowl until fluffy. Add flour, salt, and remaining can of bouillon (with enough water added to make 2 2/3 cups). Mix until dough holds together well. Cut at least twelve 12" x 7" rectangles of aluminum foil. Remove meat mixture from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then puree meat mixture in food processor until of a paste consistency. For each tamale, place a 2 inch ball of dough near the end of a strip of foil, and spread to form a square about 5" x 5". Make sure one end of the masa square touches the end of the foil strip. Put about 1/4 cup of meat in the center of the masa square. Roll foil from end until edges of tamale meet; press together; finish rolling foil around tamale. Crimp ends of foil tightly shut; set aside. When all tamales are wrapped in foil, place them in a colander set in large pot of boiling water. (Do not allow the water to come into contact with the tamales.) Cover; reduce heat to simmer, and steam the tamales for 45 minutes. Makes 12 large tamales
Coastwizard - April 05, 2010 - Report this comment
Just wanted to say I loved both the small XLNT Tamales and the large ones, but the large were the best! I added carrots to my XLNT style recipe because a friend who owned a meat processing plant out in So Cal saw a truck full of carrots being delivered to the Mexican food processing plant next door and asked what the carrots were for. They told him they used them in their tamales for color and flavor instead of a lot of articifial crap. Oh, and as a Ca native, I would never spoil a good tamale with ketchup. I would, however, smother them in chili con carne once in awhile. I sent a request to my local Super Wal-Mart to start stocking the XLNT Tamales and also the King Oscar Tiny Tots Brisling Sardines that I used to buy all the time in CA. Around here, the sardines are so big they can only fit 2 or 3 to a can, and their backbones are as thick as a pencil...yuk!
bmac - September 01, 2010 - Report this comment
XLNT says they're going on line for sales this fall/winter. I was just out in SoCal last week and bought four packs of tamales and chili that I froze prior to the flight back to North Carolina. They are going down town just as soon as I hook up the defibillator. Another SoCal treat for any of you who grew up in the Valley-- Cupid's Hot Dogs right next to CSUN (Valley State College when I was a kid). I've never had a better dog. Coney Island dogs don't even compare.
hungry - October 07, 2010 - Report this comment
what are the cooking instructions
sapphire - October 19, 2010 - Report this comment
I was visiting an Aunt in Bakersfield and I wanted her Tamale pie recipe. She finally gave it up, but only a list of what she remembered. The key was XLNT Chili brick. She said the recipe came off the package. So far my internet search only shows the recipe using the XLNT Tamales. Does anyone have the recipe off the Chili brick package?
jim scribner - November 21, 2010 - Report this comment
i live in idaho. can you buy xlnt tamales in idaho? they are soooooooo goooood.
pogbears@gmail.com - March 02, 2011 - Report this comment
1950...foot of Newport street, Ocean Beach.... in a booth in the old skating rink bldg. One ALEX tamale...20 cents!
Jerry - August 19, 2011 - Report this comment
I agree with Ted. I went to Anaheim High School in the late 50's. I still remember getting Alex's tamales at lunch time at a corner stand. I am 67 now and can still taste them. Man they were good. I have tried tamales all over the world (I work in Costa Rica at the moment). Costa Rican tamales, ugh!, that is why I went searching for Alex's tamales on the www. NEVER HEARD OF XLNT tamales. What I wouldn't give to unwrap the top of an Alex's tamale and stick a spoon in it :)
nomoreswamps - September 08, 2011 - Report this comment
Yes, Alex's tamales are different than XLNT...I grew up near the Morales family and remember eating tons of Alex brand foods....I consider myself official Hispanic now!
Joan - January 06, 2012 - Report this comment
I found their website at XLNT Foods Corp.
maggie - April 16, 2012 - Report this comment
what about the sweet rolls at porter jr. high in granda hills ca? Circa, 1970's? At nutrition? Anyone have the recipe?
Steve - October 14, 2012 - Report this comment
I lived down the street from the morales back then, we would walk over to the factory and eat them for free with Danny an terry if I remember correctly
Glenn - November 17, 2012 - Report this comment
I am looking for the jingle they used to play for XLNT Tamales

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