13th HICA! Annual Tamale Sale

November 18, 2016
¡HICA!’s Christmas Tamale Sale is famous in Birmingham, and known as the best tamales in town. This sale is the most important foundraiser for the work that ¡HICA! does in the community such as supports our entrepreneurship program, college readiness program, and advocacy work and gives back to the local businesses that make the tamales especially for us.  We love bridging the Latin and American cultures through food!

The Tamale Sale starts Thanksgiving day through December 11th. Be sure to order plenty!



Types of tamales available: 



Ingredients:

Tamale Dough: Masa harina, chicken broth, baking powder, Vegetal oil, Salt, dried corn husks

Chicken Tamales: chicken breast, Mexican husk tomato, jalapeño, cilantro, onion, garlic, black pepper, cumin, salt
 
Pork Tamales: pork butt roast, guajillo chili, “chile de arbol”, onion, garlic, black pepper, cumin, salt
 
Cheese & Pepper Tamale: Provolone cheese, tomatoes, Poblano chili, onion, garlic, salt



About Tamales:

* A tamale, or tamal in proper singular form in Spanish, is a traditional Latin American dish made out of masa(usually corn-based dough) with a filling, typically of beef, pork, or chiles, that is steamed in a corn or plaintain leaf wrapper.

* Tamale-making is a day long process, and thus reserved for the most special of occasions. The dough/masa, is made of cornmeal and lard seasoned with cumin, onions, and chiles. The dough is complemented by a filing which can range from savory to sweet. The most common varieties are beef, chicken, and green pepper/chile. 

* The meat must simmer for hours until extremely tender before being seasoned with garlic, chili peppers, cumin, and other spices. Likewise, green chiles must be roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped to create the filling. The filled dough is then carefully wrapped by hand in a softened corn husk that is steamed before serving. Fortunately, given all the labor of love that tamales require, they freeze excellently and can easily be served for future meals. 



¡HICA!'s history with tamales:



What started in one of our volunteers' kitchens in 2002 is now an annual event, our famous tamale sale. Many years ago ¡HICA! founders made tamales from scratch to raise money for an organization that was growing. The tamale sale is what we have came to be known for in the community. 
It brings ¡HICA! great happiness to sell authentic tamales every holiday season so Alabamians can enjoy delicious tamales while supporting the social, civic and economic integration of Alabama's Hispanic families.



Fun Facts about Tamales:
  1. Tamales date back to the time of the Aztecs. They were even presented in banquets held by the Emperor Moctezuma.
  2. The word tamale comes from the Nahuatl tamalii, meaning “wrapped food”.
  3. Tamales can be sweet with fillings such as cinnamon and raisin or fruit
  4. Tamales can be wrapped in either a banana leave or a corn leave.
  5. There are around 1,000 types of tamales available all around Mexico.
  6. Tamales can vary in size, flavor, filling, and even name depending on the region.
  7. Tamales are a staple of Mexican food. If you haven’t tried tamales, you haven’t had Mexican food. But tamales are not only part of Mexican culture, they are also part of Latin American culture. 
  8. The time it takes to create authentic, home-made tamales is time-intensive and traditionally involves an actual assembly line of family and friends.
  9. Tamales, though almost 9,000 years old, didn't become introduced to America until the turn of the 20th Century. Migrant Mexican workers and African Americans would work side by side in cotton fields; and it was here that Mexicans shared their tamale favorites with their African-American co-workers.
  10. In Mexico, tamales are often eaten during festivities, such as La Candelaria Day (February 2), Mexican Independence Day, the Day of the Dead, Las Posadas and Christmas