Borderland Treasure: Families enjoy tamales during the holidays

Local Treasure

POSTED: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - 12:20pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - 12:25pm

A treasure in the borderland is definitely the Mexican food and during the holidays demand goes up for warm food, especially tamales.
"It's a business that's been here for a long, long time and for a good reason. They make good tamales," said customer Fernando Villarreal.

Many said they're the best tamales in town.

"I can and do admit they're the best in town. I'll challenge anybody out there to try our tamales and compare them to the other ones and they won't meet up to our standards," said employee Jazmin Barraza.

"They're the best. We keep coming back over here. It's just the taste. The masa, the filling, everything, everything is delicious," said customer Margie Karisch.

Customers have been lining up to get their Tamales Lupita since it opened 28 years ago.

Karisch bought nine dozen and she's not just keeping them on her dinner table.

"She's going to Arizona, south of Tucson and then I'm taking these others ones to Del Rio, Texas right outside San Antonio and I'm gonna come back and ship some to my daughter in Spokane, Washington," said Karisch.

At Tamales Lupita, they make 9,000 tamales every day. Employees start at 7 a.m. working throughout the day to cook about 750 dozen tamales.

They start by spreading the corn-based dough on dried corn husks, then come the filling with pork with red sauce, chicken with green sauce, cheese with green sauce and the sweet tamales with coco and raisins.

In total, it takes about 10 hours to make the tamales, seven hours just to cook the meat and three to prepare and heat the tamales.

They sell year round but, come the holidays, sales increase.

"They'll go really fast. Usually we have about six trays or 10 trays coming out which has about six dozen each and they'll be gone in half an hour," said Manager Cindy Carrillo. "Mostly about November it starts increasing but during this week, this is when it starts getting really hectic. That's when we have lines out the door."

Many families in the borderland have made tamales a holiday tradition.

"A lot of our customers are usually people that actually have been here or come from out of town that have a lot of family members, 'You know what I have family members out of town and Ii have to send these and I have a couple people that if they don't have these tamales, they don't have Christmas," said Carrillo.

While tamales are their specialty, Tamales Lupita makes another holiday favorite, champurrado, a chocolate-based atole which is a warm and thick drink.

During the winter months, Tamales Lupita makes 60 quarts a day.

Customers and employees alike said Tamales Lupita offers something you can't get anywhere else.

"Come along and we're here. We're ready for whatever people need. We're all here with a smile," said Carrillo.

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