JACKSON, Miss. — Cantina Laredo, Jackson’s destination for fresh-made Mexican food with modern flair, will celebrate the holidays with a special feature for December: hot tamales. Both traditional Christmas Eve fare in Mexico and a long-time culinary tradition in Mississippi, tamales are now available to-go from Cantina Laredo for $16.95 per dozen.
A perfect addition to any holiday gathering, Cantina Laredo offers tamales in chicken or beef, and recommends customers allow six hours notice for to-go, tamale orders. Tamales are a regular item on the Cantina Laredo Tapas Menu: Two spiced seasoned pulled beef tamales topped with roasted red bell pepper, tomatillo sauce, micro cilantro, queso fresco, and roasted chorizo corn.
Cantina Laredo Jackson chose to feature tamales this holiday season because they are an ideal dish for large gatherings and hold cultural significance in both Mexico and Mississippi.
The corn masa-and-meat bundles — individually wrapped in corn husks and then steamed — are part of the traditional Mexican celebration of las posadas, which commemorates Mary and Joseph's search for shelter before the birth of Jesus.
One theory is tamales have been traditional Christmas Eve fare for centuries in Mexico because they're portable, easy to store and inexpensive to make for large gatherings.
In early years, the preparation of the labor-intensive food became a social event, called a tamalada, as women from ranches across Mexico and what's now the American Southwest gathered to prepare the Christmas Eve feast.
Tamales date back to the 13th century and the Aztec empire.
Hot tamales are a culinary tradition in Mississippi that originated in the state’s Delta Region. It is believed tamales were introduced in the region in the early twentieth century when Mexican migrant workers arrived to work the harvest.
Tamales are a long-time staple on Mississippi tables and this food tradition is observed during Greenville’s Annual Hot Tamale Festival.
Cantina Laredo’s full menu is available to-go or for event catering throughout the year. Located in The District at Eastover (200 District Boulevard), Cantina Laredo is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For reservations or catering orders, please call 601.982.7061.