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History of the Hot Tamale in the South


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Back in roughly 1980 I had the opportunity to eat at Doe's Eat Place in Greenville Mississippi, the heart of the Delta.  In addition to their famous steaks and some of the best fried potatoes I have ever encountered, they served tamales.  To get into the place you had to walk through the kitchen, and right there in the middle they had a big rotary tamale rolling and stuffing machine.  They made lots of tamales, and still do.  In fact it was the tamales that got the business started in 1941, according to their official history -- the steaks came later.

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This made me look into the places where I first had some Delta Tamales.  Manuel's in New Orleans?  Closed.  Mary's in Knoxville?  Closed.  At least Doris' in Diberville is still up and running.  Making me sad the more I google this morning.

Also: they're red hot.

Also: while they are far, far, FAR from an exemplary version, I have always enjoyed the fact that Corky's BBQ franchises have tamales on their menu.

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