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La Gran Tamalada & Tamal Institute

La Gran Tamalada & Tamal Institute

La Gran Tamalada & Tamal Institute

Saturday, December 8th 

Market Square – 11AM – 7PM

This year’s event is larger than ever with tamal-making workshop and festivities at the Market Square. The Cortez Family, owners of the popular Mi Tierra restaurant, will share their love of family, tradition, and tamales. Participants take home both knowledge of and appreciation for the techniques that have been passed from generation to generation for many years. 

Tamal Institute | Centro De Artes  2:30 to 5:30 pm

Welcome by Cristina Balli + Colleen Swain, World Heritage Office

2:30pm:  A gastronomy city. Why Tamales + other cultural foods matter.

2:45pm:  History of Tamales in the Americas

Lecture + Demonstration by Chef Elizabeth Johnson, co-author of Culinary Institute of America, Latin Cuisines Program

3:45pm:  Maiz 101  Discussion of the basics of corn and nixtamalization by Chef Johnny Hernandez, chef, entrepreneur, and founder and President of Grupo La Gloria and True Flavors Inc.

4:45pm: #TamalLife. A conversation with local Molinos, tamaleros, and masa experts on tamal making traditions and their cultural significance.

About the Tamal Institute

The mission of the Institute is to highlight the intersectionality of tamales to interested culinarians, historians and citizens. This intersectionality is seen through the traditional and non-traditional culinary world of process, recipes and styles of tamales; literature discussing the cultural importance of family tamaladas; and art documenting the painstaking process of creating masa. Each family has their own tamal story. Some families begin the month of November in preparation for tamale season, purchasing supplies, preparing their kitchens, replenishing cooking equipment to ensure they are ready. Others would spend a day enjoying musica, drinks and familia as they made just enough tamales for their family to enjoy over the holiday season. While others visited local grocery stores and restaurants purchasing their favorite tamales. Every South Texan has a unique tamale story, what’s yours ?

About La Gran Tamalada

La Gran Tamalada is an annual community workshop that honors the tradition of making tamales. The free event blends storytelling, the history of the tamalada and promotes cultural pride and lifelong learning. Children and adults participate in this hands-on opportunity to learn about the ingredients, recipes and cooking methods used in making this culturally iconic dish. Participants take home both knowledge of and appreciation for the techniques that have been passed from generation to generation for many years.

The Cortez Family, owners of the popular Mi Tierra restaurant, will share their love of family, tradition, and tamales with the community.

“The Gran Tamalada is one of my favorite events of the year! It’s become a holiday tradition for families and individuals who enjoy preserving time- honored traditions. We have enjoyed sharing our recipes with the San Antonio community for 75 years and we’re happy to be carrying on this tradition with the Guadalupe,” says Cariño Cortez, Owner of Viva Villa Taqueria.

In addition to taking home handmade tamales, participants will also be able to purchase autographed copies of the hardcover book, “Tamales, Comadres, and the Meaning of Civilization”, written by authors and scholars Dr. Carmen Tafolla and Dr. Ellen Riojas Clark, who hosted and led the Gran Tamalada since its inception in 2008.

“I grew up making tamales with my family during Christmas, and I am proud to celebrate the tradition in the historic Guadalupe Theater with the Cortez family of the beloved Mi Tierra Restaurant,” says Cristina Ballí, Executive Director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.

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