It’s going to hit 90 this week in New Orleans and we’re still eating tamales. For plenty folks tamales are only consumed around the holidays but we eat them year round.

They are a staple of our diet and have been for over 20 years.

Where do you go to get tamales in New Orleans? We’ve yet to find that one supplier that leaves us panting for more.

We first encountered tamales made sans manteca back in the 90s when we began eating from the table of Leonora, the chef and owner of Oaxacan Tamaleo (RIP). The good cook made her tamales with olive oil, not lard. Odd but delicious. Azucena Noriega just turned up in our newsfeed with her recipe for vegan tamales.

There are tamales in Portland, Oregon. Writer Eliza Gale has a short list of her favorite sources.

“I’d never seen grits. I didn’t know what a hush puppy was” Oscar Diaz, co-owner and head chef of Jose and Sons in North Carolina. Diaz has tasked himself with marrying Deep South cuisine with that of his native Mexico and the mashups sound divine. Collard Greens Wrapped Tamales anyone?

Would you pay $16 for a single tamal? At Broken Spanish chef Ray Garcia is serving “fine dining” tamales with commensurate pricing. We’d shell out big bucks for a skillful soft-shell crab tamal in New Orleans.

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