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Chicago Area Tamales

Hot Tamales with a Mississippi Delta pedigree

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Hot Tamales with a Mississippi Delta pedigree

John T Edge | May 31, 2000 01:16 PM

I'm in search of Chicago soul food joints, rib shacks and the like that serve hot tamales.

I've read postings on the Chowhound board that refer to Mexican style tamales, but I'm in search of hot tamales that may have made their way north to Chicago from the Mississippi Delta where they are a food proferred primarily by African-Americans.

For the record, the Delta-style hot tamales are very similar. (In Mississippi, there's a tendency toward using corn meal instead of masa, and all manner of different wrappers often replace corn shucks, but I digress.)

In fact, Mexican migrant workers probably introduced them to the Delta around the turn of the century. Since that time, though, they have been fully adopted by the denizens of the Delta and most folks in Mississippi don't recognize a Mexican linkage.

In the same way that blues music and barbecue ribs moved north as part of the Great Migration, I suspect that black Southerners may have brought along a tradition of tamale making. Any sightings, tastings? Thanks....

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