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Tamale sales still holding strong during holiday season

Posted at 4:12 PM, Dec 28, 2020

LAS VEGAS — It’s the season for tamales when many in the Hispanic community enjoy having this tasty dish over the holidays, but how has the pandemic affected this tradition with more people staying home?

Tamale season is in full swing at La Bonita Supermarket as the holiday season ramps up. Ready-to-eat pre-made tamales give customers a piece of home cooking.

“It comes from like grandma the night before getting everything ready for Christmas Eve,” Zaira Contreras, who works in marketing for the supermarket, said.

It’s a holiday tradition for many Hispanic families. But this year, their tortilleria is extra busy. Workers say sales of masa have skyrocketed.

“I was just talking to one of the guys and he was saying that production has not stopped in these couple weeks,” she said.

They’re noticing more families deciding to make their own tamales meaning more people are staying at home, likely with just their immediate families.

“More people have time at home, they want to try and make them. It’s pretty neat,” Contreras said.

What surprised workers the most is that while holiday sales were down this year, sales of pre-made tamales were up by 10%.

“Sometimes they want something to go and we offer curbside pickup at some of our stores,” she said.

Workers believe the tradition of holiday tamales is holding strong and expect to be busy churning out more masa.

“They’re working hard and they’re like it’s crazy,” she said.

This story was first published by Jeremy Chen at KTNV in Las Vegas, Nevada.