Tamales with Mama

Nov 29, 2015

600px-Squash_Black_Bean_Goat_Cheese_Tamales_(phil_g)Sandy Romero is Mama for the day as she shares her knowledge of tamales.

On December 5th, Sandy will lead a free, one hour class at the Santa Catalina Branch Library to illustrate the art of tamale-making and students will taste “the love and flavor of the traditional Tamalada.”

“Tamalada” is a custom passed down through the generations, such as special recipes during multi-generational tamale-making parties where hundreds and hundreds of tamales can be made at one time.

Masa, soaking husks, lard, red and green chile, beef shoulder roast, pollo, pork, and veggies—possible ingredients for savory tamales. Berries, guava, pineapple chunks, coconut, cinnamon, and condensed milk for sweet tamales. Either way, tamales are one of our favorite foods. They are time consuming to make, but with friends and family, it’s a fun time that produces exceptional dividends—tamales by the dozens; the ultimate comfort food.

Tamales with Mama
Saturday, Dec. 5th, 11 a.m.-noon
Santa Catalina Branch Library
999 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena 91104
Free event
For more info, call 1.626.744.7272


The “proper way” for a tamalada to be conducted is often adhered to with passion. The principal character, often a great-aunt or a mama or grandma, not only took charge of ingredients but also dictated exactly who played each part in the tamalada. These rituals could even include the crushed ice thrown into the masa at the last minute, the prayer that the grandmother would whisper to the tamales before they steamed, and the Spanish guitar music that had to play on the record player while the tamales were steaming! If you didn’t do what was required, the tamales were supposed to turn out badly.
Focus on Mexico




Photo, top right, tamales by Phil! Gregory (originally posted to Flickr as Tamales) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.





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