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You never know where your next tamale is coming from.

Mine’s come from here, at 16th and Imperial. Was crossing Imperial when I hear the call.

“Ta-MAA-les! Ta-MAA-les!”

It’s this cheery-looking woman in a white teeshirt and jeans, hauling a blue and white insulated box.

I yell back across the traffic.

“Tamales? Si!”

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I cross the road, and she takes out two for me. Chicken. I dive in. Hot. Delicious.

Nothing like a street surprise in the mawnin’.

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Maria Dias says she’s from Honduras.

“It’s not so different from Mexican tamales,” she says. “Maybe not so spicy as up north.”

She does this every second day. “I prepare them one day in my kitchen, then take them out and sell them the next.”

Is it a tough sell, on the streets of San Diego?

“Not really. I sell 80, maybe 100 most times I come out.”

Love little surprises like this. Now all I’ve gotta do is find a cafecito to wash it all down.

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