TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — For nearly 40 years Anita’s Street Market has been serving authentic homemade Mexican food. With their amazing traditional red and green tamales, it’s no surprise why they have been named one of Tucson’s Best.
“It’s all the women coming together and just making this magic in the kitchen happen, you know, and it does,” Gracie Soto said. “It’s comforting. It’s heartwarming, I guess it is a big comfort food and it’s a huge tradition, especially around Christmas time.”
Soto and her family-owned business have been making tamales for decades. It’s a tradition that gets many Mexican families together during the holidays.
“Getting the the meat ready, shredding it, getting the red chili, and that’s just preparing the meat. You know that’s just the meat and the meat sauce. Then you got to have extra sauce on the side to put into your masa,” Soto said. “Then you have your olives and then you have your your jalapeños that you put in there.”
After winning a Best of Tucson award this past year, they knew they wanted to make sure their customers were able to buy some authentic homemade tamales—something they missed out on previously because of the passing of Gracie’s grandmother.
“Some customers that are out of town or going to go out of town prefer to buy them uncooked frozen and I would too because you know all you got to do is put them in your pot steamer,” Soto said. “They’re fresh and your house smells like so good.”
For those up for the challenge, Soto says there is a trick when it comes to steaming them.
“When you put tamales into a pot like this, you start a stack and you lean them all the way around and you fill them up into the gets to the middle. And so they’re nice and stuffed in,” Soto said.
Denelle Confair is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. It’s been her dream to tell your stories for the past decade. She is extremely curious and wants to continue to use her storytelling for the greater good. Share your story ideas and important issues with Denelle by emailing [email protected] or by connecting on Facebook, and Twitter.