RL Reeves Jr reports on the national tamale scene

Nurses make an average of $71,000 per annum. After working for 30 years as an RN in Knoxville, Tennessee, Sonya Curl could have been forgiven for rearing back in a Barcalounger and watching TV in her golden years. Instead she took to social media and began vending what she calls Tennessee tamales. There is a long history of tamale making in eastern Tennessee, and while they could not be more different than the Tex-Mex tamales we grew up eating they do have a niche in our bellies.

Marvin Hurst writes on the 4th grad level but we we were intrigued by his piece on Las Chiladas in San Antonio. We only get to visit Bexar County once a year but we’re always looking for a fresh tamale source.

Tamale House East in Austin opened in 1958, and the family behind the concern have kept beans and greens on the family table via tamale sales for 60 years now. Eater National recently fanned out across Texas to establish a hierarchy of restaurants and the Valera clan found themselves in the number 14 spot of best eateries in the Lone Star state.

Champy’s World Famous Chicken sells over 2,000 tamales a week. This in spite of being a fried chicken restaurant. We love a backstory and owner Seth Champion has a good one. He served seven years working for a sandwich chain before he managed to scrape up enough money to become an owner. Now there are seven Champy’s scattered around the south. We’re heading into Alabama later this year and will issue a report from his Alabaster location.

It’s always tamale season at the Scrumptious house in the 9th Ward of New Orleans.

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