Friday, January 19, 2018

December 16th - Somerton Tamale Festival

Every year, in the small town of Somerton, they hold the big Tamale Festival.  When we found out about it, we had to go.  Laurie and I drove down with her friend Amy, and we were to meet Norma and her husband, Dale.  Somerton is not a large town just a few miles south of Yuma.  The biggest thing in the town is a campus of the University of Arizona.  We drove around and found where the festival was and then searched for a decent place to park.

That done, we entered one end of the part of town that was closed off for the festival.  The first thing we came across, was a children's dance class where the dancers were of varying ages and doing traditional Mexican dances if full historic costumes.  It was a fun show to watch a bit.

Strolling down the walk, What we saw, was a lot of booths side by side, each one belonging to a different tamale kitchen.  The people in them were pulling tamales out of warmers, and serving up to the customers.  There was a couple of booths that gave information and directions.  They took your money for a packet of coupons.  Every tamale being sold cost two tickets and you could buy any number of tickets with a discount for a packet of 10 or twenty.  This kept the sellers from having to deal with money.

There were more varieties of tamale than I could imagine.  Veggie, pork, beef, lamb, chicken, seafood, and then, pineapple, strawberry and many others.  There is a basic contest between the vendors for the best tamales.  A cheat sheet told you which vendors had what to offer, and the nice people at the front booth told us who were the winners from the previous year.

I'm not a big tamale person.  I don't care for the corn meal casing.  That said, I had quite a few different tamales, and though it wasn't the best food adventure ever, I did enjoy them all.

We met our other friends and walked around and saw what there was to see.  On the opposite end from where we came in, they had a stage with a local band playing some rocking country music.

On our way out, we watched the kids dancing again and then started the long drive home.  I would love to do this sort of thing again.

Somerton, Arizona


The booths

"The Gold Dragon" Really? Chinese and Mexican food?


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