Really, I'm not ashamed that by myself I have eaten a dozen tamales today. Yes, the whole dozen! And, they were good!
Many Hispanic families will gather to make tamales, dozens and dozens, that they will eat during the Christmas season. It is an art to hand make tamales. The seasonings have to be just right, the masa has to be made just right and then rolled to the right consistency before filling and wrapping with the corn shuck. Many of the little tamale shops also make theirs by hand and the workers are very skilled and quickly assemble perfect tamales.
They come in different flavors. Beef, pork, chicken, turkey, beans, spicy with jalapenos, or sweet with raisins. When I passed a lady in the grocery store giving samples of warm beef tamales today I was hungry. As I put the dozen hot tamales in my basket I told her that hopefully I would make it to my car before I started eating them!
I ate the first dozen plain, snack style. But they are good smothered in chili and topped with queso and salsa. Rice and beans are optional as the tamales are all you need. I ate 6 for lunch and then opted to forgo the leftovers and eat the other 6 with a little shredded cheese and salsa for my supper. I have no shame; they were good and I'll do it again soon!