The tamalada is a tradition as old as -- well, as old as corn. And that's pretty old, considering the experts believe that corn was domesticated at least 5,600 years ago in what are now southern Mexico and Central America.
The tamalada, or tamale-making party, most likely originated out of necessity to secure a food supply during the times when corn and other products weren't available. Corn kernels were dried and treated, then ground to a flour. Mixed with water and other liquids, the corn flour became a dough from which many things were and are made. Tortillas, tamales and enchiladas are but the most obvious and recognizable.
Now, the tamalada is both tradition and celebration, in that it brings families and groups of like-minded people together to prepare food, refresh and rejuvenate relationships and celebrate the season.
Thus it is so that the long-standing -- yet recently dormant -- Oropeza-Martinez family tamalada will be on Sunday at the house of my suegra, Ramona Martinez. Three daughters, three sons-in-law and at least a couple of grandchildren are expected to take part.
A full report on the tamalada will be posted soon.