The holidays are upon us and for many Mexican families, it’s time to get cranking on making tamales, those delicious treats. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, my tias get the familia together to make tamales.
Some history about tamales:
The tradition of tamales is a direct connection to the most ancient traditions of Mexico and Central America. Some scholars of Mesoamerican civilization believe that leaf-wrapped tamales actually predate the tortilla. Long before the arrival of the Spaniards, Mesoamericans believed that the gods originally crafted humans out of corn. Quite literally, corn was their substance of life. Sometime after corn had been domesticated, the ancient Mexicans invented the process of nixtamalization, that is, soaking hard corn with ashes and water to remove the fibrous shell on the kernels and to render it digestible and nutritive to human beings. The treated corn kernels could then be ground and used in tamales or tortillas.
Moss Landing’s Haute Enchilada Cafe is getting in on the festivities. The Solano family, owners of the Haute Enchilada Cafe and Gallery in Moss Landing, are bringing the holiday tradition to your family.
From November 15 to December 31, the Haute Enchilada Cafe has tamales to go for $4.50 per tamal. You can also order a tamal taster, one “tamalito” of each flavor–Huitlacoche & Goat Cheese, Local Artichoke & Cheese, All Natural Pork Chile Verde, or All Natural Chicken Mole– for $18. Each taster also comes with one 8 oz. salsa of your choice. And if you order three or more tasters, enjoy 20% off.
Any time I’m over in Moss Landing, I always find an excuse to stop into the Haute Enchilada Cafe. The menu includes sophisticated, gourmet twists on traditional Mexican food and owner Kim Solano is one of the most welcoming hosts at any local restaurant, greeting diners as if they were old friends.