|Dancing Tamales from the Delta Hot Tamale Festival Website|
I am Southern. The place I have lived the longest is the South USA. I definitely feel Southern in the way I think about food, what food/ingredients I source locally (within 100 miles from my house) and what I eat. I have worked my little plot of organic land, and I feel the dirt under my nails. I listen to oral histories of food in the South at the Southern Foodways Alliance. I read one quite interesting history, the Southern Hot Tamale in the Mississippi Delta. I like that Mexican, Italian and African cultures came together to make these treats. In the Delta, you can get red hot tamales all around the MS Delta, and there is the Hot Tamale trail, which I would like to travel one day. But, for this year, there is the 2nd Annual Delta Hot Tamale based in Greenville, MS in October. It is a three day affair, with the biggest part of the festival going on Saturday October 18.
For my friends in Nashville, if you want a resemblance of a traditional way to serve Delta Hot Tamales, you can go to Varallo's and get a Hot Chile Combo. The Hot Chile Combo is a bowl with a red hot tamale at the bottom, and chile on top of it, and served with saltines. I used to get this meal when I worked 2 blocks away from Varallo's and it holds a special place around my tastebuds because this dish is Southern food history, which I adore.