We love tamales and, lucky for us, it’s finally tamale season! We all have fond memories of making or eating tamales with family and friends while decorating the tree, listening to Christmas music, or just enjoying each other’s company. Tamales are a big tradition around Texas, but where did they come from?
Tamales go way back; back as far as 7000 BC across Mesoamerica in the cultures of the Aztec, Maya, Olmec and Toltec. They liked them for some of the same reasons we like them today: they’re very portable, keep well, and are easily made in large quantities that can feed an army (or families like ours!). Their tamales were made with much of the same ingredients that we see today, but they typically used more fish and wild game, including frog!
In more modern history, they’ve become a holiday tradition in Texas for several reasons. As friends and families gather together during the holidays, it’s a necessity to be able to feed large groups, at which tamales excel. Many families will also host tamaladas, where the labor-intensive process of making tamales gives them a chance to catch up, laugh, and spend quality time together.
At Cyclone Anaya’s, Maria Jimenez brings her recipes and tradition to our tamales. She has been perfecting her craft since her Grandmother began teaching her the art of tamale making when she was 11 years old. Growing up in Michoacán, Mexico, her whole family would host tamaladas around Christmas each year. The tamales they made were family recipes that were passed down from generation to generation through careful practice at these family gatherings. The recipes passed down to Maria from her Grandmother are the same used to make our Homemade Gourmet Holiday Tamales today.
From now until January 1st, Maria and her team will be making three types of tamales from these recipes: pork with chili gravy, spinach and Mexican cheese with chardonnay cream sauce, and chicken with spicy tomatillo sauce. You can order these by the dozen here, or by calling any of our locations. Because our tamales are handmade to order, we ask that all orders are placed at least 24 hours in advance of pick-up.
We’re excited to share these special recipes with you, and we hope our Homemade Gourmet Holiday Tamales can become a part of your family tradition.
Happy Holidays from our family to yours!