DOWNEY, Calif. (KABC) -- It's that time of year when many Latino families are loading up on a golden item: masa dough for tamales.
Many customers are turning to a popular Los Angeles grocery chain, Amapola Market. Days ahead of Christmas celebrations, one customer even bought one thousand pounds in one trip. Tamale business owners like to buy in big bulks.
Some people buy smaller batches to make tamales just for the family.
"This is only my second year coming here. But my mother-in-law who passed away a couple of years ago, I think she came here for a good 10 or 15 years," customer Amara Lopez said. "So I am trying to continue to the tradition."
Amapola Market has three stores in the southeast Los Angeles area, like in Downey. Owner Rolando Pozos said that during the holiday season they sell millions of pounds of masa.
The iconic L.A. market is known for having very long lines of customers days before Christmas Day to buy masa. Customer Adelmira Lopez said she even camped overnight in the past. This year she got there days ahead.
"It is a wonderful feeling. You meet a lot of people. But it is cold and obviously right now with the rain, I said no way," Lopez said.
The hot item at this grocery chain is masa. The second hot item is ready-made tamales. Pozos said during this season they sell thousands of ready-made tamales.
"We celebrate by making tamales with our families, bringing everyone together," Pozos said. "We make tamales of all of the flavors that you like. We have the best ingredients here."
"It has best masa that you can honestly get," customer Evelyn Alfaro said. "Especially if you are making homemade tamales."
Follow Eric on social media: