Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Delta Tamales Get Boost From Ole Miss Center

The 17th annual Southern Foodways Symposium is just days away, taking place Oct. 23 – 26 in Oxford. The event is hosted by the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA), a non-profit organization housed in the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss. According to its website, SFA focuses on celebrating the flavors of the South.
The symposium is sold out again the year, however fans of southern delights can still experience some of the good work done by the SFA by checking out their coverage of the Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail.

Wrapping tamales at Scott’s, Greenville, MS. Photo by Amy Evans.
Wrapping tamales at Scott’s, Greenville, MS. Photo by Amy Evans.

 
Better known for its association with cotton and catfish, the Mississippi Delta has a fascinating relationship with tamales. In restaurants, on street corners, and in kitchens throughout the Delta, this very old and time-consuming culinary tradition remains vibrant. But how and when were hot tamales introduced to what has been called “the most Southern place on earth”? And why have they stayed?

Gentle Lee Rainey of Delta Fast Food in Cleveland, MS. Photo by Amy Evans.
Gentle Lee Rainey of Delta Fast Food in Cleveland, MS. Photo by Amy Evans.

Mississippi Delta Hot Tamale Trail has the answers, along with great visuals and and an interactive map to help you explore the locations that have made Mississippi tamales famous.
Learn about the history of the tamalehear the stories of more than a dozen Delta hot tamale vendors, and try making tamales in your own kitchen.
Shine Thornton of Maria’s Famous Hot Tamales, Greenville, MS. Photo by Amy Evans.
Shine Thornton of Maria’s Famous Hot Tamales, Greenville, MS. Photo by Amy Evans.

When your hot tamale craving becomes too much to handle, hit the road to try some of Mississippi’s finest!
Updated by Sarah Douglass and Courtney Richards

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