The ‘Lazy Girl’s Tamales’ mess with Latino tradition (Video)
During the run-up to Christmas Day, Mexican-American kitchens across the land become assembly lines for the ritual cooking of tamales. Women and children, and sometimes men, line up and slather masa and slow-cooked meats on corn leaves, fold them a certain way and steam them the same way Nana did so many years before.
And everybody knows you don’t rush tamales. Two days. At least.
“It’s not just something you do, it’s an event,” said Darlene Tenes, of San Jose.
But there’s a breaking point to everything, even tamales, and Tenes reached it just the other day.
After cooking and tasting dozens recently for her annual “Best Darn Tamale Contest” on local TV, she concocted a fast-food version of the ancient Mexican and Central American staple.
“I call it the lazy girl’s tamale,” she said Thursday in her kitchen. “Instead of two days, this is two hours. That sounds terrible, huh?”
Tenes designs Hispanic tree ornaments for her wholesale company, Casa Q. They are carried by Macy’s and dozens of other retailers large and small. She’s aiming at the U.S. Latino market, betting that this big, bicultural crowd will embrace her interpretations of old traditions, including her two-hour tamal (what’s known to most Americans as a tamale).
Read the full story at Mercury News