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Sep 17, 2011 01:16 PM

Southern style tamales?

I'm not sure if I'm gonna have any luck with this question, but here goes...

I've had some wonderful, authentic tamales here in town, but I miss the kind that I grew up eating in Mississippi. The ones here are nice and light, and they're usually pretty mild tasting... the ones in the deep south are pretty different, often simmered in a deep red cooking liquid that really packs them with heat, thus I guess the reason people always refer to them as "hot tamales." Some of them will really tear the roof off of your mouth. I like to eat them with saltines, horseradish and more hot sauce...

I wonder if I can find this type of tamales in town; I imagine it might be difficult, seeing that Texas has such a rich Mexican history, while the Mississippi/general deep south version shares a different lineage. Southerners obviously learned it from latin culture at some point (maybe even the Spanish American War, as the article I'll attach at the end of this theorizes...), but then developed it into their own thing.

Has anybody come across these around here? Here's the little article I found about the history:

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  1. Nope, I've never seen them and they are from such a small region culturally (not in Alabama or east texas to my knowledge), I'm guessing you won't find them here though I'm willing to be surprised.

    Your best hope is if one of the cooks at the Southern places came from the delta (Galloway's and Southern Hospitality and ???). could be worth calling them and asking.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Carter B.

      Oh they're definitely in Alabama and Louisiana... I'm gonna fish around for some places in Houston... might be possible.

      1. re: popvulture

        And as for the note in the article about Doe's Eat Place... I've never seen em wrapped in parchment. Always corn husks.

    2. I have no idea where to procure these and quite frankly I have never heard of them. Absolutely fascinating, though-syncretism of Mexican and Southern culinary traditions. I wonder if more info on these delta tamales would come up if a query was posted about them on the general board.

      1. I know exactly what you are looking for, and I've never seen them here. When I moved here, I was like 'where are the hot tamales wrapped in newspaper?' I've learned not to ask that anymore after multiple blank stares.

        Here's the SFA article about the ones from my hometown... not that that will help you in Austin, just for fun reading:

        2 Replies
        1. re: drdelicious

          Vicksburg, nice! My only guess as to where I could find these anywhere around here would be Houston, simply because it's a little more east. Kinda doubtful though; I guess I'm just gonna have to gorge myself on Tony's Tamales next time I'm in Jackson.

          1. re: popvulture

            Well, maybe we should start a revolution :) Can you imagine how many these you could sell from a cart at Longhorns tailgating?

        2. Unfortunately, I have not located these in Austin, either. They were available in New Orleans- "Manuel's Hot Tamales" being the most prevalent. They did not returned post-Katrina to my knowledge. I love these greasy little red hot bombs! "Old Style Hot Tamales" still exist on the Westbank there. That doesn't solve the quandary, I know.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Oyster Boy

            I grew up "down the bayou" and there were a couple stands that sold hot tamales. My grandmother got them every Friday except during Lent. I haven't seen them since I moved away.