Los Fresnos News

This is the season for tamales

Restaurant workers make tamales in the kitchen of a Los Fresnos restaurant. Archive photo


Cookies, fruit cakes and other goodies are food items consumed big during the month of December as people celebrate the holiday season throughout the United States.

But in this part of the country, this is the season for tamales.

The Mesoamerican meal is made of masa or dough and steamed in a corn husk.

In some countries, including Mexico’s Veracruz state and in Central America, they also use banana leaves. Such tamales can be found at some supermarkets that cater to Hispanics and in some mom-and-pop eateries in the Rio Grande Valley.

A typical tamale is usually stuffed with chicken, pork or a combination of the meats and called mixed or mixtiado.

However, many of today’s tamales are now filled with an array of ingredients such as refried beans, jalapenos and cream cheeses and even with spinach and raisins.

Although tamales are consumed all year around, the month of December is when people gobble them up as if they are going out of style.

Some businesses have a tradition to have Christmas-related parties called tamaladas this time of year where hundreds of tamales are ordered and served for several hours.

Here in Los Fresnos, tamales can be found at a number of eateries.

At some city events, such as during the swearing in of the new City Mayor Alejandro “Alex” Flores, tamales and cup cakes were served during a reception to welcome the new city leader.

And during this year’s Christmas festival, thousands of tamales were handed over to those who attended the event.

Angel Alarcon, who along with his wife Marisela, owns and runs Parra’s Tamales and Restaurant, said the tamale give-away took place thanks to the city and their own participation.

“We cooked 500 dozen tamales,” he said and they handed a dozen tamales to each car that stopped by their stand during the festival. “We will give them away until they are gone.”

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