Tamales…so much deliciousness in a corn husk! (NOTE: You don’t eat the corn husk!)
These little tasty meals have become synonymous with a local nonprofit I’ve been involved with for over 10 years by the name of HICA…as in “OH! You’re on the HICA Board?! I love your tamales sale!”
HICA’s tamale sale is back this year after a little “siesta” last year. If you live in the Birmingham, Alabama area, you can pre-order right now until August 1st through the HICA website. After that, the next window to order will be November 22 through December 11 through the website. You can choose from three types of tamales: pork with red sauce, chicken with green sauce and (my favorite!) pepper & cheese tamales. The cost is $30 per dozen or $18 for 1/2 a dozen. (Remember…this is a fundraiser!) Tamale pick up will be at the HICA office on December 18th.
Not having the tamale sale last year was a big decision for the board and fund development committee. HICA had just purchased a building – a new home – in Homewood, AL, and there was so much happening to get the building settled and also pulling together our 15th anniversary event – or quinceañera – with the Birmingham Barons last June. We just didn’t see how we could pull it off successfully with so much going on so, after much discussion we decided to cancel the sale in October and notified our tamale supporters of this decision. We know people were disappointed but they understood and we promised to bring the sale back this year. Personally, I’m so glad it’s back because pulling this fundraiser together is a true labor of love for those of us who’ve been involved over the years and have seen it grow.
HICA started the tamale sale 13 years ago around the Christmas holiday time as a fundraiser for the organization. That very first year, supporters, board members and Hispanic community members got together in a volunteer’s kitchen and made hundreds of tamales into the wee hours of the morning to sell to the community at large.
The idea was to bring a little bit of Mexican culture and food to Birmingham. In addition, tamales are a tradition around Christmas time to Mexican families. Many people who have been exposed to the HICA tamale sale over the years have embraced tamales as their own tradition now too!
I have so many stories to tell about the tamale sale which I will do throughout this year leading up to the tamale pick up date on December 18. I’ll also share a few tamale recipes along the way. But for now, you have 8 days to pre-purchase your tamales! Go ahead…you know you want to!
Here are a few fun facts about tamales from the HICA Website in case you need a little more encouragement to try them:
- Tamales date back to the time of the Aztecs
- Tamales can be sweet with fillings such as cinnamon and raisin or fruit.
- There are around 1,000 types of tamales available all around Mexico. Every region has its own variety of tamales.
- In Mexico, tamales are often eaten during festivities, such as La Candelaria Day (Feb 2), Mexican Independence Day, Day of the Dead, Las Posadas and Christmas.
- A Mexican tamale called the Zacahuil is three feet long and weighs about 150 pounds.
- Tamales are not only part of Mexican culture, they are also part of Latin American culture.