How a Mexican Delicacy Became a Mississippi Staple

How a Mexican Delicacy Became a Mississippi Staple


(classical music) – [Narrator] You’re in Mississippi and everywhere you go, tamales. Those magical little snacks of corn flour and meat packed into a corn husk. Tamales, tamales, tamales. So if you’ve ever wondered
what Mississippi tastes like, it tastes like me, the tamale. My journey starts almost
a hundred years ago. It’s 1930 and Mexican migrants are trickling into Mississippi. They bring along a taste of home. Their version of the
sandwich, me, the tamale. – My great grandfather came here from Mexico City, jumped the trains, ended up in Mississippi. He decided to make his family’s homemade, hand rolled hot tamales and in 1939 opened up this place and
started selling tamales. You have to understand
this is a family thing. I’m the fourth generation. The same generation of people who have been coming to the Big Apple Inn for the last 78 years
are also generational. When they eat a tamale,
they always have a story. My daddy used to bring me here. His daddy had the same kind of story, his daddy had the same kind of story. Tamales caught on here and it
became a staple in the city. – [Narrator] So there I am winning over the Mississippi natives and as I make my way up into the Delta my location may change
but little did I know that the tradition of family
most certainly would not. Just like Geno and his
grandfather at the Big Apple Inn, I bring the Scott family together, a family who has gone on to be known as the first family of
tamales in Mississippi. – In the early ’50s, my father bought the recipe from a Mexican guy. My mother and father taught me, my sisters and my niece,
all of us together, we making hot tamale. We just one big hot tamale family. Any business that’s family oriented, I think it’ll last longer. – [Narrator] Much like the Scott family, the Doe family is made up of a long line of tamale makers. Doe’s Eat Place is a landmark restaurant that helped propel me
to become the backbone of Mississippi cuisine I’ve become today. – My daddy started this restaurant in 1941 with my mother. We’ve been here 76 years. Mama had a sister that was living here and daddy had a couple,
two or three sisters, that were living here so they all came and rolled tamales. Yeah, a lot of people
ask us how did tamales get prevalent in the Delta. It’s been family. The family’s been here all the time. – [Narrator] As tamales made their way from Mexican culture to
African American communities and on to Mississippi’s white population, there’s one thing that
remained a constant. Family, the most southern concept of all.

100 Replies to “How a Mexican Delicacy Became a Mississippi Staple

  1. My grandma would cringe so bad with those tamales, she cringe when I don't wrap it "right" imagine if she see me wrap it with some tread, she would slap me with a chancla!

  2. Not a mexican in the bunch or south american for that. What a crap interview. Like curry in the uk culturally appropriated.

  3. They're also fairly popular in Lousiana, where they fill them with all kinds of different meats and Cajun seasonings.

  4. Mississippi has pyramids same concept as mexico so that would mean mississippi is part of a land called Anahuac and all ways did had tamales. Before any settler had came to call the land mississippi. Tlazoh means thank you 🙂 FUCK TRUMP

  5. Culture vultures!!! 100 of years from now grantee Mississippi will claim they created the tamales and America will buy into the false story

  6. Bruh – Mississippi had "tamales" since corn showed up thousands of years ago. It's a Choctaw traditional bread called Banaha. We just boiled them traditionally instead of steamed them. We've been growing corn and putting it through a lye-ing process to make hominy and all that it forever.

    This likely comes from our connection to the Aztec empire back in the day when we were still in the Mississippian/Moundville era. This isn't a post-colonial connection. This is way older.

  7. this will blow your mind in El Salvador we make tamales with banana leafs just to wrap them up the mexican tamales might be good but the salvadorian tamales are freaking delicious.. i am 100% impartial

  8. Oh dear God, here comes all the 2nd-4th generation millennial immigrants offended simply because of some Southerners liked the food. Just because you have a fraction of Mexican blood in you doesn't give you the right to be a dick about it and act like an expert on Mexican cuisine (because you're not).

  9. Oh how I miss my grandma lita, nana Joe an nana making tamales!!! None will ever be as good as theirs!

  10. Those are basic tamales wey! Doesn't even look like they're cooked right. Glad to see the other cultures embracing our food tho. God Bless!

  11. All these Mexicans getting mad because of some misunderstandings of the narrator, because of the cooking process of the tamales, or because of the singular/plural spelling of tamale, but none of you are BLOWN THE FUCK AWAY that our cuisine has been assimilated into this part of the Planet!? This is such a crazy-cool thing!

    Who would have thought that sweet African and white families would cook our food with the same love we put in it!?

  12. Guatemalan tamales are not snack there a lunch and dinner food and are way more delicious and come in more variety

  13. Torta is the mexican version of a sandwich…
    Tamales I dare say, are the mexican version of an asian steamed bun or dumplings I think is called.

    Still good to see american people enjoy a piece of mexico, keep the good vibes for my people, and may your gods bless you

  14. I remember first making hot tamales and thinking "Cornmeal!? That won't taste right" but oh was I so wrong? It's such a delicious tamale in a different sort of way. 👌😎

  15. Blacks/Whites and others leave Mexican food alone. Stick to soul food/barbecue maybe if you grew up with Mexican influence OK. But this is a watered down version of the original, i always wondered about hot tamales candy now we know.

  16. My city Greenville, why so much hate in the comment section… Nobody stole a secret recipe, we just put lots of love and soul in everything we do.. It's all good love, we understand… 😎🤷

  17. I’m full Mexican and the fact that the Tamal is submerged in water instead of being cooked in steam really irks me

  18. @3:05: "Family: the most Southern concept of all."

    That sounds like the sort of ignorant thing someone says because they've never travelled, yet they imagine their culture to be better and more wholesome than other cultures.

    Family might be the highest priority for Southerners, but it's hardly more associated with the Southern U.S. than elsewhere.

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