Hermosa Mexican Foods
About seven years ago, Southern California natives Karyn and Ernest Moreno sated their hankering for authentic Mexican fare by forming Hermosa Mexican Foods (425.208.2933; hermosamexicanfoods.com). After perfecting recipes from Ernest’s mother, a native of Hermosillo, Mexico, in a small commercial kitchen in the Snoqualmie Valley, they launched their tamale and tomatillo salsa creations at the Issaquah Farmers’ Market in 2003. Before long, the couple was going to seven markets a week, selling 300 to 500 tamales a day. “Many tamales are typically 4 to 6 ounces,” Karyn says. “I make mine 7 to 8 ounces.” The Morenos eventually cut back their appearances to just the Bellevue and Redmond farmers’ markets, where Karyn purchases most of her ingredients. “I make sure to keep it fair and support everyone,” she says. Popular items include the asparagus tamale (asparagus, smoked Gouda and leeks sautéed in olive oil) and the chicken tomatillo (cooked in Hermosa’s tomatillo sauce), as well as fresh fruit tamales. “People in the Pacific Northwest are not used to sweet tamales,” says Karyn, who uses whatever’s in season for her fillings. Hermosa’s tamales are sold fresh ($4–$6 each), with an array of filling options, and frozen ($10–$13 per three-pack). The filling is pre-cooked before being frozen, but the masa is not, leaving the steaming process to the customer. Visit Hermosa Mexican Foods at the Bellevue Farmers’ Market (in the lot at First Presbyterian Church, 1717 Bellevue Way NE) on Thursdays from 3 to 7 p.m. and the Redmond Farmers’ Market (7730 Leary Way NE) on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Originally published in August 2010