Fried Hot Tamales

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sauceman
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2005/06/21 21:46:16 (permalink)

Fried Hot Tamales

We were in Indianola, Mississippi, earlier this month for the groundbreaking of the B.B. King Museum and made our first visit to The Bourbon Mall near Leland. It's way out in the cotton country, in an old commissary built right after the 1927 Mississippi River flood. We had some fine catfish and red snapper. And the appetizer that draws the most attention, the Delta being such a hotbed of tamale culture, is fried hot tamales, served with ranch dressing. I won't say they are an improvement over the traditional way of serving a tamale, but they're a novelty I'd never come across and one I'd order again. And I highly recommend a visit to The Bourbon Mall.

Fred Sauceman
Johnson City, Tennessee
#1

11 Replies Related Threads

    carlton pierre
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/06/22 17:05:46 (permalink)
    Fred, sounds like a neat experience, though I can't picture what the mall is like. Is it like a modern mall from any major city, or something different.

    I may get to that area the week of July 4th. It's one of my favorite areas to visit and I'm hoping on one visit to see the Mississippi John Hurt museum, which is simply the house he lived in.
    #2
    sauceman
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/06/22 20:47:41 (permalink)
    They use the term "mall" in a comic sense. It's an old plantation commissary.
    #3
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/06/22 20:51:31 (permalink)
    Fred, how do you deep fry a tamale? In the husk? I'm a deep fried taco man, but tamals are a new one on me.
    #4
    sauceman
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/06/22 21:05:12 (permalink)
    I didn't inquire about the process, but we were guessing they just rolled the unwrapped tamale in some flour and plunged it very briefly into hot oil. Long enough to create a little crispness on the outside, but not long enough to make the whole thing disintegrate. That's just a guess on my part, though.
    #5
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/06/23 10:46:57 (permalink)
    I traveled the Mississippi Delta recently and it seemed that every town, small or large had a lot of tamale places. I wonder why?

    Knoxville only has one. I have never tried it but Sauceman and Carlton Pierre has and both reported it was very good.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #6
    6star
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/06/23 11:36:02 (permalink)
    If you are interested in their menu and some pictures of the Bourbon Mall, here is their website: http://www.bourbonmall.com/
    #7
    mayor al
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/06/23 12:02:29 (permalink)

    Based on reading the menu, the place sure sounds interesting!
    #8
    sauceman
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/06/25 22:31:44 (permalink)
    Sundancer's question about tamales in the Delta is an interesting one. I've heard and read several theories--one being that they were brought there by Mexican migrant cotton-pickers 60 or 70 years ago. However, Shelby Foote claims he saw tamales down there before he saw any Mexicans. You find African-American tamale makers in several Delta towns, and tamales are included on the menus of Italian-owned restaurants like Doe's in Greenville, Giardina's and Lusco's in Greenwood. I hold to an unproven theory that there may be some Choctaw influence, too. Just another one of those odd cultural amalgams you find in the South, and another reason why the Delta is such a fascinating place. Paul references Mary's Hot Tamales in Knoxville, Tennessee. It's run by Clara Robinson, who grew up in the Delta, in Greenville, Mississippi. Her version of a Mississippi Delta-style tamale is spiced ground beef inside a spiced cornmeal paste, all steamed in paper. She serves them just like that, with little plastic packets of Texas Pete Hot Sauce, which, as we all know, is actually made in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Clara also has on the menu a "Full House," which is tamales covered with chili. I've talked to some folks around Knoxville who claim their city as the origin of that practice.

    Fred Sauceman
    Johnson City, Tennessee
    #9
    tiki
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/06/26 08:21:51 (permalink)
    "Catfish Parmasean"!!!!!!!!! That menu item alone put a smile on my face! Looks like a spot worth at least one try. Catfish Parm!--amazing!
    #10
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/06/29 22:13:07 (permalink)
    Fred, I almost bought the full house from Mary's Tamales but I found out that she does beans with her chili and I do not do beans. It is not cause I do not like them but it is because they do not like me.

    Her tamales have a unusual taste and the meat filling was on the edge of being slightly tart? I am not sure what the spice was?????

    I like the style of Knoxville's only decent tamale shop and I also like their style. They are decent, nice and good people running a neat shop. I am glad that you and Carlton Pierre turned me on to this neat place.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #11
    carlton pierre
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    RE: Fried Hot Tamales 2005/09/04 23:06:22 (permalink)
    It seems Knoxville is home of the "full house" which is a tamale in a bowl of chili. I've not seen it anywhere else fixed in this specific manner.
    #12
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