November 27, 2013
Source: The Latino Post
Thanksgiving is upon us, and all across the United States, kitchens are going into overdrive to make enough turkey to feed a nation of more than 300 million.
But not everyone is crazy about turkey, so there's obviously going to be some alternatives being served. One such alternative that is gaining steam (literally, play on words here) in both Latino kitchens and among the converted faithful non-Latinos, is tamales.
"In the 25 years my husband and I have been married, I cannot recall a single Christmas or Thanksgiving without tamales," says Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, Texas, sharing her online recipe at whatscookingamerica.net.
Though Thanksgiving is a particularly American holiday, immigrants have apparently carried their own traditions into the fold, and the American appetite is very welcoming to the new addition.
"Tamales are an everyday food but also have special places on holiday tables in Mexico and Central America," writes Amanda Moniz of The Washington Post on the history of holiday foods.
"In Mexico, they are eaten at Day of the Dead celebrations in early November.
"Thanks to recent Latin American immigration to the United States, tamales are increasingly showing up on Thanksgiving tables as well. With a name derived from the Nahuatl word 'tamalli,' this hearty newcomer to our national meal highlights the fact that Latin American immigrants often have Indian ancestry."
These delectable little favorites are becoming so commonplace that they even make their way onto the menu by those serving up the holiday meal for the less fortunate in areas that are not normally considered to have heavy concentrations of Hispanics.
Jack D'Orazio, who runs the Boise Rescue Kitchen, in the Idaho capital, includes 5,000 beef tamales in his to-do list when preparing food for the recipients of his charity's efforts.
And for those who insist on the big turkey being the mainstay of the Thanksgiving feast, there's always the question about what to do with the enormous amount of meat left over after the family's stomachs have had their fill.
"Break out the masa..."