September 8, 2022 6:00 pm - September 8, 2022 7:00 pm    |    Zoom – Virtual Event

Deconstructing Tamales

Deconstructing Tamales: How this Ancient Food came into its Present Form

Corn and chiles are definitely the ingredients of Mexico and the Americas, but what about other ingredients such as pork lard, garlic, cumin, and black pepper? Even though tamales are a traditional food in Latin America, many of the ingredients of modern tamale recipes came from colonists with European, Middle Eastern, and Asian cravings.

With detailed recipes passed down through generations, never-ending ingredient lists and the millions of spicy hand-made delicacies produced by families gathered around kitchen tables, tamales are an ancient Mesoamerican food enjoyed by every Texan, especially during the holidays. But why? The answer is an epic Texas story.

In this presentation, Melissa McAllen Guerra will deconstruct tamales, taking them back to their historical roots and explaining how this ancient food came into its present form.

Melissa Guerra is a self-taught culinary expert and food historian specializing in the food ways of the American continent, especially Texas regional, Mexican, and Latin American cuisine. Guerra is an 8th generation Texan, born, raised and currently living on a working cattle ranch in South Texas.

Melissa is a member of Les Dames d Escoffier, a founding board member of Foodways Texas, and a member of The Culinary Institute of America Latin Cuisines Advisory Council Executive Committee. As an adjunct instructor, she teaches food history and college writing at the Culinary Institute of Americas in San Antonio, Texas and Hyde Park, New York.