I had the good fortune to briefly interview Michelle Manon, the owner of Tamahli, for a festival preview for The Rivard Report. Manon was one of the vendors at the first Tamales! Festival five years ago.
Before my chat with Manon, I thought there was only one kind of tamale – the standard pork and masa in a corn husk. Manon explained, “Many people aren’t aware there are more than 7,500 different types of tamales across Mexico. There are differences depending on the state and even the town.”
Tamahli’s specialty is tamales from Central and Southern Mexico. Tamales in the south are usually wrapped in banana leaves as opposed to corn husks, which gives them a unique flavor and a distinctive gift-like look.
The line for Tamahli’s booth was by far the longest we stood in the day of the festival – and the tamales were worth every minute of the 45-minute wait. We had the Pig in a Husk traditional pork tamale, a Pollo Verde made with shredded chicken and green salsa wrapped in a banana leaf, and my absolute favorite, the First Kiss sweet tamale with cinnamon, vanilla and pecans.
The good news is that I don’t have to wait until next year to have more of these delicious tamales. Tamahli is open Monday through Friday for pick up and has an online store offering shipping.
Here’s to continuing a holiday tradition all year round!
We have not been to Tamahli’s storefront and can only rate the food in this case.
314 Spencer Lane
San Antonio, TX 78231
Photos are from the Tamahli website.