When the fragrance of masa dough fills the kitchen, everybody knows it is tamale time. But making tamales from scratch is a labor of love. It requires that the whole family pitches in, even the kids.
“As a child growing up in Yuriria, Guanajuato, I remember tamale days as really busy,” says Angela Morales. “Small children helped by soaking the corn husks or folding and tying them, while older kids spread the masa. Nobody was supposed to be idle because we all were going to eat. ‘Ayuden si tienen dientes’ (help if you have teeth), my grandma said. That was a tamalada, a big tamalecooking feast!”
Lina's savory tamales
Lina Garcia is the Queen of Tamales at Abe’s Cantina y Cocina in Arroyo Seco. Every Christmas, Garcia prepares more than 300 dozen tamales, all handmade, and there are always people on her “tamale waiting list.” The following is her personal recipe.