Southern Foodways' Mississippi Delta Hot Tamales

Southern Foodways' Mississippi Delta Hot Tamales
Among the more curious dishes in The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook are these Mississippi Delta Hot Tamales. Tamales are traditionally Mexican, and the tale of how they made their way into the canon of Southern cooking more than a century ago is a truly American one. There are many takes on the story, but they all have something to do with Mexican laborers migrating north from Texas to pick cotton. There they shared their corn husk-wrapped snacks with African-American laborers and the tradition of the Mississippi Delta tamale was born. For more info on the fascinating American tamale check out The Southern Foodways Alliance's Tamale Trail project. While these Southern tamales might not look all that dissimilar from their south-of-the-border cousins, this version uses coarse ground corn meal as opposed to a finer maseca. Instead of stuffing the tamales with a salsa or mole-stewed meat, these are filled with a mix that's very similar to chili, using paprika, onion and garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, and a good amount of chili powder—giving them a very American flavor profile, far more at home at a fried chicken joint than a taqueria. As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook to give away this week. Adapted from The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook by John T. Edge and Sara Roahen. Copyright © 2010. Published by University of Georgia Press. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.


, For the meat filling:, to 8 pounds boneless meat (pork shoulder, chuck roast, or chicken), ¾ cup vegetable oil, ¼ cup chili powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, ground cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, For the corn husks:, to 2 packages dried corn husks, For the masa dough:, maseca (masa mix) or yellow cornmeal, baking powder, salt, 1⅔ cups lard or vegetable shortening, to 8 cups warm meat broth (from cooking the meat)


Calories per serving:

379 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Sugar Conscious, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free

Daily value:



  • Fat 19g 30%
  • Carbs 26g 9%
  • Saturated 6g 28%
  • Fiber 3g 11%
  • Trans 0g
  • Sugars 0g
  • Monounsaturated 10g
  • Polyunsaturated 3g
  • Protein 27g 53%
  • Cholesterol 76mg 25%
  • Sodium 821mg 34%
  • Calcium 114mg 11%
  • Magnesium 57mg 14%
  • Potassium 537mg 15%
  • Iron 5mg 30%
  • Zinc 7mg 44%
  • Phosphorus 381mg 54%
  • Vitamin A 37µg 4%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 0%
  • Thiamin (B1) 1mg 37%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 0mg 27%
  • Niacin (B3) 9mg 43%
  • Vitamin B6 1mg 41%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 70µg 17%
  • Vitamin B12 2µg 41%
  • Vitamin D 0µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 2mg 10%
  • Vitamin K 4µg 5%
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