Taste some of the best tamales at the Long Beach International Tamales Festival this weekend

You can try the best tamales as vendors face-off in a taste test.

Amanda Palacios Image
Thursday, December 7, 2023
LB International Tamales Festival to be bigger, and tastier, than ever
Tamales are a staple in some households, especially during the holidays. Now you have a chance to try some of the best this weekend at the International Tamales Festival in Long Beach. How do you like your tamales?

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Tamales are a traditional meal for many people across Southern California, especially during the holidays.

If you're on the hunt to find the best tamales, you can discover delicious flavors from different Latin regions at the International Tamales Festival in Long Beach this Saturday.

"We have a total of 25 food vendors and we have 82 retail vendors," said Long Beach International Tamales Festival organizer Sal Flores.

"Come on out and enjoy the wonderful food, the great retail and the entertainment is going to be great," said LB Living partner Dan O'Brien.

The event will be held at Long Beach City College from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. and according to Flores, it'll be bigger than previous years.

"We're hoping for 4,000 to 5,000 people. We had over 3,500 last year," Flores said.

Festivalgoers will be able to try different types of tamales from each vendor and can vote for their favorite dish.

"We're super stoked to be attending our first tamale festival," said Crystal Hernandez, owner of Toma Tu Tamal.

"I'm making three types of tamales, emphasizing on the masa that we created," said Ulises Alfaro, a chef at El Barrio Cantina.

"Our tamales are big, as you can see they're humungous. But we also make everything from scratch," said Alejandra Montesinos, co-owner of Los Reyes Del Taco Sabroso.

The festival will also have a homemade tamale contest with 12 contestants. Last year's winner, Arcelia Reynoso, said it's a great opportunity for exposure.

"They want us to go back and participate too, but also encourage other people and other families to come and do the same thing," Reynosa said.

"She's going to be selling for the first time at our event," Flores said.

Flores said the 12 contestants for the homemade tamale contest will be judged on three things: presentation, uniqueness and taste.

"The winner this year will get a $250 cash prize and all permits paid to have a booth next year," Flores said.

For more information, visit lbhomeliving.com/lbtamalesfest.

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