Tamales for every time of year

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A tamale can be made of many things.

Some tamales are made from rice and banana leaves; some are made from fruits such as guava and pineapple. Some Delta students have even rolled turkey tamales for Thanksgiving!

PHOTO COURTESY OF SONYA HERRERA
PHOTO COURTESY OF SONYA HERRERA

Whatever the flavor, tamales are a common sight during the holiday season, and are enjoyed by Delta students of different backgrounds.

Despite the treat’s popularity, many students have never eaten a single tamale. Delta student Jerry Sakun thinks those students are missing out.

“Tamales are awesome,” he said.

The treat is mainly associated with Mexican cuisine and culture.

Tamales have traveled throughout South and North America and have evolved into many different varieties, including sweet tamales and breakfast tamales.

Most students’ favorite tamale memories have to do with family.

Delta student Bo Baca’s mother used to make sweet tamales.

“She was originally from Mexico, and everybody has regular tamales but she had sweet tamales, with cinnamon and raisin.” said Baca. “I’ll always have a fond memory for that.”

Delta student Terreon Wofford said that he helped his mother roll tamales for Christmas last year.

“We made turkey tamales, and we made chicken tamales,” he said. “We made them kind of like a hybrid between enchiladas, too, so it was really good.”

Some students prefer to consume tamales more traditionally.

“The best way to eat them, though, is with atole.  It’s a type of drink.  I forgot how you call it in English, but it’s really, really good with it,”said Johnathan Herrera.

Atole is a corn-based beverage often served with tamales during the holidays. Readers may not know that corn originally evolved from maize, a plant domesticated by ancient Mesoamericans, including some Delta students’ Mexican ancestors.

The Christmas treat isn’t for everyone.

“I’m not too much of a fan of them,” said Delta student Jamal Crawford. “I appreciate the Mexican culture for making them, but, me, personally, I don’t prefer buying them anymore.”

Homemade tamales are made year-round.

“My mom just makes tamales regardless of whether it’s holiday or not,” said Jorge Gonzalez. “They’re not really ‘holiday’ for me.”

For the rest of us less fortunate students, homemade tamales will remain associated to the holidays.

“Best homemade food we got,” said Delta student Chris Hinojosa. “That’s why I wait for this time of year.”