Time to Make Tamales With Expert Sandra Vasquez
Yes, it is the time of the year to make tamales, and to help us in the process is Sandra Vasquez.
Sandra is a tamale making expert who guides us in our Tamale section. She shared her secrets on how to make authentic tamales, her tricks and the evolution of tamales as we know them today.
Sandra is an admirable entrepreneur who created the tamale masa spreader 15 year ago! She has learnt her tricks through years of experience, and has taught many people at malls, libraries and fairs the art of making tamales. Sandra helps you keep Hispanic culture alive!
Hispanic Culture Online talked to Sandra to know about her passion for tamales and her ingenious invention. Here is what she told us.
Who Is Sandra?
She is a business woman and inventor of the Tamale Spreader. Sandra was born, raised, and educated in Corpus Christi, TX. and her heritage is Mexican. Her mother was born in Paras and raised in Sabinas Hidalgo in Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Her Childhood Memories of Tamales in Her Own Words…
My grandmother, Nepomusena, would make tamales for Christmas and for Las Posadas. Every year all my aunts, eight of them, would gather around the table to spread masa onto cornhusks to make tamales.
I still remember the huge mountain of masa, and that it would take all day to make 50 dozen of tamales. They were cooked outside in a large copper cazo kettle, over mesquite fire.
Eight hog heads were cooked the day before. We would use a molino grinder, to grind the meat and a molcajete, the Mexican version of a mortar and pestle tool, to grind the spices and chiles.
I love the aroma of fresh spices. Mixing the masa and kneading the dough took muscles. It was an all day family affair. Before the end of the day the tamales were done.
I was about 10 years old when I started to learn to spread masa, and didn’t master spreading unitl I was 16 years old.
Grandma passed, then we continued making tamales in Texas. My mom, dad and my aunt would knead the masa with their hand…Now we can use a mixer.
How the Idea of the Tamale Spreader Was Born
After the death of my mother I wanted to carry on the family tradition of making tamales during the Christmas holiday.
Knowing that the traditional art of making tamales required an entire day of preparation and cooking, I was always looking for a way to make the process easier and faster yet involving the family.
Using the back of a spoon it takes a master spreader one minute to spread 2 cornhusks. Right there I saw there was a real need to create a faster and more efficient way to spread the masa. Using the Tamale Spreader anyone can master spreading in just a few strokes. Then they can spread a dozen of tamales per minute.
The Tamale Masa Spreader is equipped with tracks and angles, which are instrumental features to an even spread. The tracks contain the masa and the angles gauge the thickness of the dough.
Using the front end of the spreader you just have to pick up masa, place it on the husk, lock in place, and slide down towards the end of the husk.
The amount of pressure you apply at the angles controls the thickness. It is no longer an all day affair if you have a Tamale Spreader and a good recipe.
The spreading which is the most time consuming part of the process is now easy and can be mastered in jus a few stroke…More tamales in less time.
How Sandra Keeps Hispanic Traditions Alive
By revolutionizing the art of making tamales, so that we can hold on to a tradition. TamaleSpreader.com will help all future tamale makers to hold onto the tradition of making tamales!
Sandra also raised her children bilingual in Spanish and strongly believes in Latino Leadership.
Tools for Making Tamales
Here are the most recommended tamale pots that i have seen in the market. Call me old fashion but I love the simplicity of the stainless steel or old style tamaleras. The best is the size of these tamaleras, plenty of space to steem many tamales at once.
Other Tamale Articles You May Enjoy
Video at the top by Mex-Sales