Mexican Grocery Gives Refunds for ‘Bad Masa’ in Christmas Tamales

Masa (Edsel Little / Flickr / CC / Cropped)
Edsel Little / Flickr / CC / Cropped

Dozens of people lined up for refunds at the Amapola market in Downey, California on Monday morning after hundreds of tamales, a traditional meal for Latinos families during Christmas, were ruined because of bad corn masa, a dough that is one of the key ingredients in the dish.

“They were cooked for 5-7 hours and when you took them out they were really squishy,” one woman told Los Angeles- area Fox affiliate KTTV Fox 11. Another man said, “we cooked them for hours.” He said he bought 100 pounds of masa that rendered their Christmas meal a total waste, and said he wanted to be fully refunded for the money he spent on all the ingredients, including the meat.

Some people reportedly stood in line for up to three hours to buy the corn masa to use in the tamales.

WTF Amapola Market :( ? What's wrong with the Masa ??? #Amapola #AmapolaMarket

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Carlos Galvan, Jr., the VP and CFO of Amapola, told Fox 11 that the customers will be fully refunded for the mishap. Customers “will get their money back.  Absolutely,” Galvan said. “We are going to have hem refunded for their purchases with us. And even with items they purchased elsewhere that went into the preparation of the tamales. We are gong to reimburse them for that as well.”

While the store is still investigating what went wrong, Galvan noted that “the corn itself may have been the problem.”

Many angry patrons vented their frustrations over what quickly became known as “bad masa” over social media:

Laura Andalon told local CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, “we had people over, there was a lot of people that ate them. And my daughters also got sick and were throwing up and we didn’t even get to eat anything.”

Others made poor attempts at politicizing the incident:

Refunds were given, as promised, and some were thankful:

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Periscope and Twitter @AdelleNaz