By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
For Yliana González, tamales are not only a staple for her and her family during Christmastime, tamales are a tradition that takes her back to time she spent with her grandmother.
González, President for the San Benito CISD Board of Trustees, will be harnessing those memories with her grandmother as the first of five announced judges for the Fifth Annual San Benito News “Best Tamales in Town” contest.
“When I was younger, we would help my grandmother make the tamales,” González recalled. “We wouldn’t make any of the unique ones. Just simple, traditional tamales like pork and chicken. We would all get together, my two sisters, my mom and my grandma, and we would help out.”
When it came to making tamales, González recalled spending most of her time at church with other women making the traditional dish to raise funds for their church.
“It was a good time for gathering, all of us women and everybody working together for the benefit of the church,” González said.
She also discussed her preference.
“I don’t like to eat those that are real creative like the raisin one and the cheese ones,” Gonzales said. “I just prefer the traditional ones like pork, chicken or beans. Very simplistic.”
González said that she no longer has the time to make tamales like she used to with her grandmother, instead choosing the more convenient route of purchasing her Christmas tamales from the many local vendors in the Valley.
“With work and everything, it’s really hard for everybody, especially since my grandmother passed away,” González said. “She was pretty much the one who would lead the whole thing. She’s the one who had all the experience of working with the masa and the actual spices for the meat. It’s easier just to purchase them.”
González might find herself in a position to purchase tamales from the contest winner and others at the event, which is scheduled for noon on Friday, Dec. 13, at News office, located on 356 N. Sam Houston Blvd.
Entries will be judged based on taste, texture, originality and presentation; the winner will be awarded a $100 gift card to a sponsoring business, not to mention an article published in the following issue (Dec. 15 weekend edition) featuring the individual or business as the winner.