Monday, November 14, 2016

Second annual Tamal Fest, big Latin American tamale and cultural festival, coming to Columbia Heights Dec. 4

Whoa! This sounds awesome. Last year local nonprofit Hola Cultura organized Tamal Fest DC to bring people together to sample the many varieties of the Latin American dish, the tamal (also called tamale) with meat or other fillings inside corn dough.

There's a wide variety too, from the moister Central American varieties to the flakier Mexican kind, plus tons of other options for filling and sauces -- Peruvians include pork, olives and boiled eggs, for example.

The event was a huge hit, so much so that they ran out of tamales. So this second version is planned to be bigger, located at Bell High School in the Columbia Heights Education Campus at 16th and Irving on Dec. 4.

As well as the food, there's also contests, stories and more. Sounds like fun.

Here's more info.

WHO: Hosted by Hola Cultura, a Columbia Heights-based nonprofit group and online community. Please visit us on the web:
WHENSunday, Dec. 4, 2016,  1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
WHERE: Bell Multicultural High School, 3101 16th St. NW, Washington DC 20010
GETTING THERE: Metro: Columbia Heights; Buses: S2, H4, 42
TICKETS: $12 online before the Fest or $15 at the door
SOCIAL MEDIA: FB: HolaCulturaDC   T: @dccultura

Part culinary fiesta; part cultural exchange
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 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

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