All Things Southern
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Sunday
May292011

Hot Tamales

It is hard to believe this food, often associated more with Mexico would be of importance to the South.  Tamales, which are cornmeal, beef or pork and spices wrapped inside a corn husk have been a menu mainstay in the Mississippi Delta for much of the twentieth century, just as much as catfish.  They were sold in the 1920's out of lard buckets along the side of the road, wrapped in newspapers.  Tamales came to the Delta when Hispanic labourers began making their way up from Texas and Arkanasas to work the cotton harvest.  African Americans in the field would have cold food by lunchtime; however, the Hispanic labourer's food would still be hot due to the corn husk retaining the heat.