National Tamale Day
National Tamale Day
What is National Tamale Day?
In 2014, Richard Lambert Googled “National Tamale Day” and found that there wasn’t one. He couldn’t believe it! More than twelve hundred foods have a day of their own (even moldy cheese has a day!), yet no Tamale Day existed. So he got the ball rolling, and started a day for everyone to enjoy the wonderfulness of tamales.
The recognition of National Tamale Day also seems to be growing due to public interest.
Why March 23rd?
First, the frenzy of year-end holiday tamale eating is not the same in springtime. Of course, we feel tamales should be enjoyed all year, so March is a good month to revive interest. Secondly, Mar. 23rd was chosen because of the light competition. Virtually every day of the year has more than one food that’s recognized. The competition for March 23rd is Melba Toast. Now let’s say you walk into a restaurant to order something, and you’re given a choice of Melba Toast or tamales. Which would you order?
What are tamales?
Tamales are Mexico’s original (and now Texas' and other US states') comfort food. They were around before the Spanish arrived, and tamales even pre-date the Aztec and Mayan cultures. In many Mexican towns and cities, you can walk by tamal vendors on almost every street corner each morning. In Mexico and the U.S., tamales are the favorite of millions. Where they were (and some still are) made by families, Folks were/are always gathered around the steamers. The wonderful smell of hot tamales is hard to resist.
The name “tamale” comes from the Spanish word “tamal.”
Tamales are eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Technically, What are tamales?
Tamales are generally a meat (or other) filling surrounded by dough. The dough is called “masa harina” ("masa" for short) and is made from white corn flour. The masa is spread onto a cornhusk, and filling is spread on top of the masa. The mixture is then folded over (rolled up), with the husk and the masa surrounding the filling. The cornhusk is sometimes tied on the end. The Tamal is then placed in a steamer and steamed.
Masa harina is typically available in many grocery stores, especially around the holidays. Today, in most Mexican restaurants, the tamales are about two ounces. In Texas, you might call them TexMex tamales. The handmade, homemade taste is what is strived for, and we at Texas Lone Star Tamales believe we have a perfect balance of that great taste, texture, balance of filling to masa, and homemade goodness!