Quick re-cap on readings and assignments. You should be up on your blog posts and your Instagram archive. I’ve enjoyed learning more about how y’all have taken initiative in doing research across the city. Our class map will be a future collaboration for us. It’s cool to see how you are taking the stories in different ways. I’m most impressed by the voices and description, as well as collaboration.

       Solly’s Hot Tamales of Vicksburg, Mississippi: note how the Mississippi tamale tradition contrasts with what you found in your research today. In the Arellano book, you’ll find a fascinating history linking with Mexican food across the South and Midwest.

Where we’re at

  1. Update on course, viral stuff, updates with Assignment 1 and posts
  2. Form groups and review some terms
  3. Have a tamal! Or two tamales!
  4. Tamales: researching origins, etymologies, ingredients, masa, and nixtamalization
  5. Discussing the 538.com Burrito challenge and the sentimental favorite Lexington burrito.
  6. Taco USA intro: see these burritos in space (Mexican food across the universe)


HOMEWORK: Continue with TACO USA and finding “key quotes” to type into your blog, quotes that you might use later for your analysis papers . . .



*Additional notes on tamales and . . . elote . . . maybe something like “steamed corn dumplings”?

Etymology: tamale (sing), tamales (pl): Nahuatl Tamalli (sing); tamal (pl): “wrapped”: wrapped with a husk? Wrapped in masa?

History: originated somewhere between 8-5,000 BC: filled with rabbits, axolotl, fruit, frogs, deer, turkey, eggs, fish, honey, flamingo. The following text is from the Florentine Codex (1588) depicting a feast of amaranth tamales.

Florentine Codex the eating of tamales stuffed with Amaranth.jpg

Nixtamalization: Aztec, partially cooked and soaked with calcium hydroxide: limestone rock, grind corn with limestone rock . . . first developed in the Americas. Archaeologists finding evidence of corn grinding tools. “Cal” or lime in the process an important innovation for health and diet in the Americas.

Why is corn hard to digest: with no nixtamalization: lack of B3 causes pellagra: skin lesions, mental affects.

Varieties: Tamale negro (raisins, nuts, dates); spicy shrimp; Cubano (onion, cilantro, white wine, tomato salsa, pork); peanut butter and chocolate chips and Reese’s. What else to put inside them? Anything. Different colors as well.

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