2012 story: NPR: Christmas A Busy Season For Tamale-Makers

POSTED: 11:36 AM MST Dec 25, 2012    UPDATED: 06:54 PM MDT Mar 25, 2014 

For Christmas, Central and Mexican-American families don't crave a holiday turkey; they want a plate of steaming hot tamales.

Gustavo Arellano, author of the book Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, says that to him, tamales are more than food. They transmit Latino culture during Christmas.

"It is about sustenance, but not just in the nutritional sense. It's also in a community sense. It's also in a spiritual sense," he says. "It's the ultimate Christmas gift."

Read the full blog here.