When I started writing about this event I felt both hungry and inadequate. I confess that while salivating and day dreaming about tasty tamales, I found it almost impossible to explain the splendor of Mexican cuisine and why indulging in a spongy, warm & dexterously wrapped tamal is one of the most glorious gifts our gastronomic history has bestowed upon us.
-I admit to watching Nigella Lawson lately-
As you know by now, I love food, luckly Puerto Morelos is my home, so when I read Sandra Dayton’s announcement about the Annual Tamale Contest this Saturday the 25th, my pupils dilated and my head calendar auto confirmed my attendance.
I arrived to the Jungle Spa at the Zona Urbana of La Colonia and from the street I could effortlessly smell the deliciousness awaiting for me inside. I have cleared up my afternoon and I am wearing elastic pants, all ready to rock and roll! I do understand this is a proper culinary contest and not an eating tournament but I’m a cautious woman -or as we say in México “Mujer precavida vale por dos”.
Once inside I noticed that unlike “stretchy pants” me, there where 20 proud tamal chefs dressed in gorgeous ternos and displaying about double the number of recipes. A colorful heaven. The environment was inviting and friendly, conversations flew and the experience reminded me why Mexico’s gastronomy is at the heart of our community. Our food brings people together, and not just Mexicans. I struck up a conversation with a couple from Canada, with Americans, my paisanos from the north of Mexico, neighbours from D.F. and LocoLocals as well. I even brought 3 bags of tamales home to share with my Australian partner and my friends from Cholula. Mexican food reaches far beyond our borders both geographically and culturally.
All was honky dori but remember this event is a competition so judges set up to find which is the best tamal for 2014. After tasting every dish and with no less than 30 minutes of deliberations the final word was given
The proud winners of the 4th Annual Tamal Contest are:
- Chari – Tamal de Lomitos
- Ana María – Brazo de Reina
- Doña Rosita – Tamal Oaxaqueño
- Don Candelario – Tamal de Frijol
- Daisy Poot – Tamal de Chaya
Praises were shared, prizes were delivered, music played louder and as you will imagine the lovely ambiance carried for the afternoon.
Hungry and inadequate? not anymore. I arrived to Puerto Morelos not long ago and this is not the first time that I go out on a weekend to check out what’s happening and I end up, with a full belly, the corners of my lips looking to the sky and with new friends. I invite you to do the same, explore PoMo and tell us about your experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to hear about your adventures!
Meanwhile, I have said it before and I will say it again, gotta love Pomo’s lifestyle.