Tradition lives on in Market Square
Generations stay connected with Gran Tamalada
Chef Cariño Cortez has fond memories of tamaladas with her family, following her grandmother’s instructions to taste the masa to test the seasoning and putting a heads-up penny in the bottom of the pot.
“It’s heads up for good luck,” she said. If the penny rattles, it means there’s no water left in the pot, and you need to make sure they aren’t burning.
Her grandmother taught her to float a piece of masa, too, to make sure it’s the right texture, Cortez said. Years later, even as she experiments with the filling of tamales, she still follows those three rules, she said.
Memories and traditions of family tamaladas are what fuel La Gran Tamalada, held Saturday in
Helen Martinez shows her nephews, Simon, 10, center, and Adam Zuniga, 6, how to make tamales at a workshop during Market Square’s annual Gran Tamalada on Saturday.
Along with the Gran Tamalada, members of the Ballet Folklórico Festival perform inside the Farmer’s Market.