SAN FERNANDO, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- For many across Southern California, the holiday season goes hand-in-hand with tamales and many will even wait in an early-morning line for them.
At Magaly's Tamales in San Fernando, efforts to prepare, cook and sell up to 5,500 tamales for Christmas feasts across the region began early Tuesday morning.
Every year, the restaurant on Maclay Avenue draws long lines of customers hoping to fill their order with a variety of the traditional dish, including beef, chicken and cheese-filled tamales.
Part of their popularity could be attributed to the unique way that they're prepared. The gluten-free tamales at Magaly's are made without lard and a non-GMO masa, the corn dough that encases the fillings.
Magaly Colelli started off making tamales at home before opening the restaurant almost 20 years ago, during which time her customers have become more and more diverse, she said.
"It used to be just very traditional Latino, Hispanic home(s) and now it's just different nationalities, different cultures. Everybody has kind of adopted that tradition where you've got to have tamales for Christmas," Colelli added.
Locals line up early on Christmas Eve for famous Magaly's Tamales in San Fernando