Tamale Festival at Caritas Village 

You'll have to forgive me because my Spanish isn't very good, but this is a great cross-cultural event, so I really feel like I should make this as bilingual as I can. El "Festival del Tamal" es Sabado! (That means the Tamale Festival is Saturday!) Invitar a tus amigos. (Invite your friends). Invitar tus enemigos. (Heck, invite your enemies; they won't stay enemies for long). Es un evento para toda la familia y es GRATIS! (It's totally FREE and family-friendly). Con muchas abuelas en pantooflas grande para los! (With so much food and entertainment for everybody!).

click to enlarge RAPHAEL CHAY | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • Raphael Chay | Dreamstime.com

Forget taco trucks on every corner. As delightful as that sounds, it's much more reasonable, and every bit as exciting, to imagine a tamale wagon in every neighborhood. Whether we're talking about authentic Mexican tamales or the old school Delta variety, there's something magical about spicy pork bites wrapped in a dense skin of corn masa that brings folks together like barbecue. Last year, Memphis' Latino cultural center Centro Cultural put this theory to the test when it launched the first Tamale Festival in partnership with the bridge-building Caritas Village organization.

This year the delicious and fine-smelling festival returns with tamale vendors, food trucks, kids activities, arts and crafts booths, live music, and lots more. (But probably no grandmothers in their house shoes. I told you my Spanish wasn't very good).

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