Diane Valera, the tamale queen of Austin, Texas

I drive to Madison, Alabama at least once a year to purchase pork bellies from Henry Fudge of Fudge Family Farms. It’s a 900 mile round trip from New Orleans but one I happily make because Fudge sells the best pork in the US. Continue Reading

Santa Fe, New Mexico Tamale Makers

I’ve been completely out of tamales for two months now and it’s creating a sort of low-level anxiety in that I know if I open my freezer there is an empty corner that normally has a gallon ziploc stuffed with tamales. A therapist may need to be called in. I’ve sampled all the New Orleans-area tamale makers goods, and they’re fine but I need big, fat Tex-Mex tamales smothered in chile fresca to get me through the torpor of a New Orleans summer. Continue Reading

Lake Charles American-Press
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Jan 31st 1956

Up in Philadelphia, chef Ana Caballero has created Proyecto Tamal, a tamale project devised to put some dollars in at-risk Latino cooks’ bank accounts. Every week Caballero teams up with an out-of-work cook to produce 400 tamales, sell them, and deliver the proceeds to the cook’s kitty. Each pop up has raised $1400 – $1500. Continue Reading

Rio Rita in Austin was an unlikely source for scratch tamales but on certain Friday nights a tamale man would show up and sell you a dozen piping hot tamales for $5

There’s an especially hot circle of Hell for people who would kill a tamalera. Martha Casiano-Ventura, mother of five, was killed in Oakland in September of this year. A fundraiser for her family gathered over $22k. Police are still looking for her killer. Link Continue Reading

The long-shuttered Iron Horse in Austin sold tamales from a crockpot on the bartop

How do you feel about tackling a 30 ingredient recipe that yields eight tamales? Tamale production is always a bear but the result of a long day in the kitchen generally yields bushel baskets of tamales that you can freeze and then eat on over the next few months. That ain’t how Elizabeth Falkner likes to do it. Bored and restless? Try this formula for Collard Green Tamales from the James Beard site. Continue Reading

RL Reeves Jr reports on the national tamale scene

It’s hot as Hades over here in the 9th Ward and we’re still getting up in the morning to steam hot tamales for our breakfast. One big, fat, hog-meat tamal with a couple fried eggs on top, and a generous ladle of jalapeno hot sauce starts the day off right. Continue Reading

RL Reeves Jr covers the national tamale scene

High dollar Mexican food has arrive in east Austin, Texas. The old days of women selling tamales in lavanderias, and gas station parking lots are long gone. Nowadays the swells have arrived to sip on $15 shots of tequila añejo, and eat overpriced molotes. Earning six figures in Austin? Like to blow a bunch of money? Pat Sharpe breaks down Suerte a new Mexican restaurant lodged in the former Dario’s, one of the best old-line Tex-Mex joints in east Austin. Continue Reading