La Gran Tamalada: A Time Honored Festival of Culinary Tradition

Friday 07th, December 2018 / 09:53 Written by
La Gran Tamalada: A Time Honored Festival of Culinary Tradition
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La Gran Tamalada at the Historic Market Square in San Antonio Dec 8th

In San Antonio, the holiday season means one thing: lots and lots of tamales. This annual tradition of food and culture is embodied at La Gran Tamalada, a one-day culinary festival that aims to carry on the cultural tradition of tamales through workshops, lectures, entertainment, and food and artisan vendors. This year’s event will once again take place throughout Historic Market Square on Saturday, December 8, 2018 from 11am to 7pm. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

Learn the art of tamale making at this delicious fun event and then get started at home with this!

La Familia Cortez has once again partnered with The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center to make the annual La Gran Tamalada even grander.

“Whether it’s in the community or in your home, tamaladas are all about sharing memories and culture with the people around you. By hosting this event in Market Square, we’re inviting people into my family’s home and helping to preserve cultural culinary traditions,” says Cariño Cortez, third-generation family member of La Familia Cortez and host of La Gran Tamalada.

You also might like the book “100 Things to Do in San Antonio Before You Die (100 Things to Do Before You Die)” if you are planning a trip to San Antonio.

La Gran Tamalada

The cultural culinary experience will have activities (and of course food!) for everyone in the family:

  • La Familia Cortez and the first family of San Antonio, the Nirenberg’s, will share their love of family, tradition and tamales by kicking off the event at 11:30am with a tamalada demonstration and skit;
  • Multiple around the plazas of Market Square and on San Saba Street will be activated with live music throughout the day, from mariachis to Tejano and everything in between;
  • Learn how to make tamales and take a few of your own home with hands-on demonstrations every 30 minutes. Children and adults participate in this hands-on opportunity and learn from abuelas about the ingredients, recipes and cooking methods used in making this culturally iconic dish;
  • The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center will be hosting a Tamal Institute in Centro de Artes from 2:30 – 5:30pm featuring lectures, discussions and panels from chefs, experts and tamaleros.
  • A children’s area will be activated with activities for niños thanks to the San Antonio Public Library. Children can take part in activities such as bilingual storytime, library loteria, tamal education and tasting with Chef Arturo Fernandez and come and go crafts such as decorating cornhusk dolls, making play-doh tamales and coloring pages.
  • Pancho Claus and Centro’s giant Elf on the Shelf will be making special appearances for photo opps, so be sure to bring your camera along;
  • Viva Villa’s patio will be transformed in the Maestro Dobel Lounge, with a vinyl DJ spinning both Christmas and the classics;
  • Purchase your dozen tamales for the season or just a few to snack on that day at one of the many tamal, hot chocolate, bueñelo or other seasonal food vendors;
  • Holiday gifts will be available to purchase from local vendors Barbacoa Apparel and Very That. Event merchandise will be for sale at Mi Tierra’s Pachanga Store. Proceeds from branded merchandise will benefit the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center.
La Gran Tamalada

Photo: Chilito’s Express,Latin Fusion Catering-Tamales & Sauces

The free event blends storytelling, the history of the tamalada and promotes cultural pride and lifelong learning. Participants take home both knowledge of and appreciation for the techniques that have been passed from generation to generation for many years.

For more information about La Gran Tamalada, please visit La Gran Tamalada’s Facebook event.

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