Tamales just might be the best food ever created. If you have ever had a good
one, you know just what I am talking about. Tamales are best on a cold winter
day. The spiciness and the warmth do a body good.
Tamales can be traced back as early as 5000 BC. They served as a nutritious and
portable food for Aztec, Mayan, and Incan warriors.
In modern times, Tamales have become a favorite fall time food in Mexico and
many parts of the United States. I have observed that it is really as much about
making them as it is about eating them. Growing up, I can remember the Hispanic
women in the community gathering in the fall to make tamales. Tamale making was
a social event . . . a time to renew old friendships and make new ones. Often
young women would return home to make tamales with their mother.
Now, as an adult, I see that this tamale making tradition has expanded beyond
the Hispanic community. Many people remember growing up next to a sweet old
Mexican woman, and remember fondly her tamales, and the warmth and love with
which she shared them. They long for another taste, and decide to try and make a
batch themselves. I receive numerous emails from people every day sharing their
childhood memories of tamales, and their desire to rekindle the tradition in
their own family. For them, making tamales takes them back to a simpler and more
In making tamales, you are not just making and sharing great food, you are
creating memories. There are lots of things you can do with your friends or
children that generate memories, but there is something special about tamale
memories. I think it is the combination of the good time, the smells, and the
wonderful taste that combine to create a poignant memory that will last a