Scenic WA State

Los Hernandez Asparagus Tamales

by Backroads Insider

Every spring, Los Hernandez Tamales in Union Gap waits for the local asparagus crop to come on. And tamale lovers wait for Los Hernandez’s pepper jack and asparagus tamales.

I just checked in and learned that over the weekend, Felipe Hernandez and his wife June, and other family members made more than 300 dozen asparagus tamales, by hand. They’ve got to fill a back order of  3600 tamales, then, make a few hundred more to sell to drop in customers in their restaurant.   I’ve watched them make these tamales: scratch broth, home ground masa, and those bright chunks of asparagus, all patted into a corn husk by hands that have done this millions of times.  All this, and Felipe charges $1.89 per tamale.

Felipe Hernandez once told me tamales are survival food, a way to stretch what’s left on the table into another meal.  Bite into one of his creations, with homemade salsa scattered across the top, and it will dawn on you…if that’s survival, who needs more? If  you’re in Union Gap in the springtime, celebrate the local asparagus bounty by picking up some of Felipe’s tamales. And savor the luxurious taste this family puts into a food designed for just getting by.

Los Hernandez Tamales — 3706 Main Street, Union Gap — (509) 457-6003