Walt's Look Around: Tamale Festival - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Tamale Festival

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBt Source: WLBt
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source; WLBT Source; WLBT
GREENVILLE, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

There’s always a reason to have festivals in the Delta. It was a weekend or so ago in Greenville, and celebrates the hot tamale. Along with blues music, the Delta tamale seems to be another of the Delta’s contributions to the world.

Washington Avenue in Greenville was once again crowded this year, as it is every middle weekend in October with people coming out to celebrate the hot tamale; specifically, the Delta Hot Tamale. There are Texas tamales and the ones you get in Mexico, but the Delta Tamale seems to have evolved into an edible morsel all its own.

Now, growing up in Greenville, I never knew there was anything special about hot tamales. Daddy would go by Doe’s every now and then and bring home a bucket full.

Only after growing up and moving away do you realize things about where you came from. And everything I never knew about Delta Hot Tamales, Anne Martin from Greenville has included in a new book about them. It’s not a recipe book or anything like that.

Ann Martin/Greenville Writer: "No, it’s not a recipe book, it’s the history of hot tamales as best as we know it," said Anne. "And it’s the stories of a lot of the people that make them."

Tamales are so hot in the Delta, not temperature-wise or spice wise, but popularity wise. Tamales are so hot in the Delta that the Mississippi Blues Trail Marker for tamales is in front of the White Front Café in Rosedale. And the ways you can make them range from just meat and cornmeal all the way to the way Yazoo County Chair Maker Greg Harkins makes them, with a little of everything in them.

"Hot tamales to me have become like what Cajun food was in the mid 1980’s when Cajun food exploded across this country," added Anne. "And it was a simple inexpensive food that was a very cultural, very regional food, and hot tamales have been our little food up here. You know, we grew up eating it and made comments and cracks about the cats not in the neighborhood because they were in the hot tamales.

Well, Delta Hot Tamale Festival number six will roll around next October in downtown Greenville, now proclaiming itself as the Hot Tamale Capitol of the World, and gathering there where the original Stein Mart once stood downtown will be the hungry tamale fans to listen to good Delta music like this from home town boy Steve Azar, and then line up for tasty hot tamales at the vendors along the street. And try not to think about why there haven’t been as many stray cats around lately.

If you actually want to buy tamales at the Delta Tamale Festival, get there early on Saturday. 

Copyright 2016 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly