‘TamalFest’ to Return to Columbia Heights Next Month

by Tim Regan November 15, 2016 at 4:50 pm 2 Comments

TamalFest flyerAn event billed as “part culinary fiesta, part cultural exchange” is slated to come back to Columbia Heights early next month.

Local organization Hola Cultura will bring tamales, music and dancing to the Bell Multicultural High School (3101 16th St. NW) during its second annual “TamalFest“on Sunday, Dec. 4.

During the festival, “a stellar group of local tamal makers” will dole out samples and compete to see who steams the best tamale.

Though last year’s event sold out quickly, this year’s party will be “an even bigger and better,” organizers said. Tickets cost $12 and can be purchased online.

More information from Hola Cultura:

Tamales have been around for centuries. It is a truly a pan-American dish passed on for generations across Latin America–and more recently in the United States, where Latino immigrants and other tamal lovers are establishing new traditions.

Last year, HOLA CULTURA had the idea of bringing residents of Washington DC together for a new twist on a tamaliza, or tamal party. The first annual TamalFest DC took place on April 19, 2015 at St. Stephen’s Church in Washington’s traditionally Latino Columbia Heights neighborhood, and featured tamales from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, and Colombia.

The outpouring of public enthusiasm was an inspiration. Before selling out, we served 400 people, twice the number initially estimated. Still, TamalFest organizers had to turn away hungry people lined up around the block despite the springtime rain. This year, we’re holding an even bigger and better TamalFest on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. We’ve lined up a stellar group of local tamal makers–both amateurs and professional chefs–who will complete for People’s Choice Awards! Stay tuned to www.holacultura.com for our interviews with the participating cooks in the coming weeks.

Video Booth: Last year, we were moved by the outpouring of excitement and the sharing of stories and memories people have about making or eating tamales at home or in their home countries. So this year, with the support of Humanities DC, we will launch “Hablemos del Tamal | Tamal Stories”, a Video Both at the TamalFest, where people can record stories, memories, comments, and family or community lore about this “comida típica” (traditional cuisine). After capturing these stories in the form of videotaped oral histories, Hola Cultura will process and edit the raw footage into a short bilingual video for publication on HolaCultura.com.


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