History of Tamales
This blog has been prepared for guests of Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast inn- Santa Fe. In response to the popularity of our New Mexico red chile pork tamales served hot daily for breakfast. We hope you enjoy the History of the Tamale!!
“Tamale” is derived from the word tamalii an Aztec word meaning “wrapped food”. Though we are not certain when or who invented the tamale, we do know tamales were written about since pre-Columbian days. Aztecs served Spaniard soldiers tamales during visits to Mexico in the 1550’s. Tamales were eaten by soldiers on long sojourns into Mexico as tamales are portable and easy to heat.
Tamales have been eaten in the United States since at least 1893 when they were featured at the World’s Columbian Exposition. A tradition of roving tamale sellers was documented in early 20th-century in blue/ragtime music song “They’re Red Hot” by Robert Johnson.
While Mexican-style and other Latin American-style tamales are featured at ethnic restaurants throughout the United States, Pueblo Bonito b&b inn- Santa Fe proudly features our traditional New Mexico red chile pork tamale! A distinctly indigenous tribute to New Mexico culture, tradition and cuisine.
Tamales typically are not made every day, as they once were, as they are very labor intensive. Rather you find tamales being made for special occasions like the Day of the Dead, Christmas, Native American Feast Days, New Year’s or just about any other family or holiday celebration. Tamale making is usually a family affair! Traditionally family members gather together and make fillings and masa the day before. Day 2 creates an assembly line- family of all ages form to spread the masa on corn husks, fill and fold the tamales. Once the tamales are assembled, they are steamed and finally eaten. Usually hundreds of tamales are made at once so everyone can take some home and share with friends and family. Guests of Pueblo Bonito, though not required to create the tamale, are warmly invited to our tables to share as friends in this delectable tradition of hospitality- enjoy!
Santa Fe Orchestra Concert Schedule
A Special event idea for Santa Fe visitors traveling in April, May, or June 2016 would be the Santa Fe Community Orchestra Concerts! These extremely talented performances are Free for the Santa FE Community! The 2016 season will be winding down with three extraordinary concerts consisting off classical favorites, rarely heard repertoire, accessible contemporary works, & world premieres of compositions by New Mexico composers. Take your pick- all are Must Do’s!
Mid-Season Concert – featuring David Chavez as guest conductor.
- Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 2:30 pm at St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art
- Allegretti: Benthic Metropolis – World Premiere
- Britten: Lachrymae for viola and strings, Ari Le, viola (SFCO Concerto Competition Winner)
- Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5
- Admission is free, donations appreciated.
- Walking distance from Pueblo Bonito b&b inn. Book Direct and save 10% (rates starting as low as $109.80+).
New Music at the Museum – New Works by New Mexico Composers Reading #3
- Friday, May 6, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art
- New and recent compositions by New Mexico composers presented in an open-rehearsal format.
- Walking distance from Pueblo Bonito b&b inn. Book Direct and save 10% (rates starting as low as $135.00+).
Season Finale- Program to be determined.
- Sunday, June 5, 2016 2:30 pm at St. Francis Auditorium in the New Mexico Museum of Art
- Walking distance from Pueblo Bonito b&b inn. Book Direct and save 10% (rates starting as low as $120.00+).
Too good to believe? Santa Fe Orchestra Concert Contact Information:
- Website: http://www.sfco.org/
- Address: 1000 Cordova Place, Suite 211, Santa Fe, NM 87505 MAP
- Phone: (505) 466-4879
**Programs and artists are subject to change**
Awaken to find a quiet dusting of soft white winter snow highlighting sculptured details of adobe walls, red brick paths, and wrought iron gates surrounding the secluded grounds of historic Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast in downtown Santa Fe, NM. Arise momentarily to light a romantic wood burning corner kiva fireplace (bedside viewable), then snuggle back next to your significant other to listen to crackling sounds and sensual smells of dry piñon and cedar wood previously prepared for your enjoyment. Quiet, flickering shadows made from the dancing flames reflecting off thick adobe walls create a glow onto the natural wood beams to be admired on the ceiling above you.
Your room reflects accurately that yester-year, old culture blend of Native American, Anglo, and Hispanic influences depicted in the decor of handcrafted woodwork, pottery, rich southwestern colors, and architectural uniquenesses (adobe, corbels, nichos, bancos, etc). This cultural style can only be found in Historic Old Santa Fe! Your private bathroom – complete with mosaic tiled bath/shower – provides adorable amenities to ready oneself for a day of exploration, pampering and some of the most tantalizing cuisine found in the southwest! It all begins with our handmade breakfast tamales (a local family’s recipe) consisting of red chile pork and complimented with homemade green chile chicken stew! Both the tamales and the stew are authentic New Mexico favorites that warm the heart, soul and tummy!
Now you must decide what will make your day even more special: Snow skiing? Strolling to historic sites, shops, galleries? Being pampered at a spa? Exploring Native American Pueblo ruins, cliff dwellings and petroglyphs? Our friendly and knowledgeable staff can make valuable suggestions, create a day-trip tour specific to your interests, or just guide you planning your day’s adventure! After sharing a full day of special moments with the one you love, return “home”, rest, and enjoy a selection of handmade chocolate delectables made by “Amy Lee”, which we have placed caringly for you in your room. Come enjoy a calming cup of hot tea during Tea Time and decide on your dinner cuisine: New Mexican? Spanish Tapas? Progressive American? Italian? French? Green Chile Cheeseburgers? Choose from 150+ excellent restaurants within walking distance. Top your evening off with a romantic stroll around the historic plaza area, up the Old Santa Fe Trail and around the state capitol, or even go bar hopping if you like! Fear no parking expense or inconvenience from Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast, as our stellar location allows complimentary parking and walking! When you decide to return home, you’ll find the quiet, secluded atmosphere of grounds softly illuminated with bubble lights and pathway lanterns to safely guide you to your own private rest at Pueblo Bonito b&b inn.
Christmas in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a beautiful time. With mild evening temperatures, outdoor celebrations have become holiday tradition! Lighting the way to a festive month in December -especially on Christmas Eve- luminarias or farolitos are found prominently on top of adobe buildings, lining quiet streets, and ushering friends to welcoming homes and businesses along walkways and doorsteps. So what are Farolitos? Luminarias? Simply put, these are” candles of light” which symbolize the way for the Christmas family to find warmth, comfort, and protection. These “candles of light” are carefully placed in sand inside a small brown paper bag, providing a warm glow at night. Generally found in prominence beginning the Friday after Thanksgiving at lighting of the Christmas trees on the historic Santa Fe plaza and enjoyed throughout December. Santa Fe infamous “glow of luminarias” throughout downtown, the historic plaza and surrounding neighborhood areas is truly a one-of-a-kind Christmas experience. Nighttime strolls in downtown Santa Fe are especially enchanting on Christmas eve when Canyon Road is lined with luminarias and spotted with farolitos (little bon fires) to provide warmth. Canyon road on Christmas eve creates lifelong memories for Santa Fe travelers as this famous holiday walk inspires carolers, hot chocolate vendors, good cheer, and warm greetings from friend and foe alike. Luminarias, lighting the way for Christmas strollers line the street, walls, and illuminate windows as well as walkways greeting guests, family and friends. A truly magical holiday community festival for all to enjoy is easy walking distance for guests of Pueblo Bonito b&b.
In the Beginning, Bonfires Led the Way
These little lights have their roots in the 1800’s. Small bonfires, like the current day bonfires on the corners of Canyon Road in Santa Fe (Farolitos), were used to guide people to Christmas Mass. Quite often they were set out during the final night of Las Posadas, the symbolic representation of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem walking from home to home before Jesus was born (replicated current day on the 2nd Sunday in December). In later days, children carried small farolitos as they reenacted Las Posadas with current “little lights” hung on trees in the plaza.
Use of Luminarias
Now a days people use luminarias to decorate the path to their door as well as outlining the roofline of their home with warm inviting electric luminaria lights. Historically, luminarias were a series of small bonfires lining the roads. As customs evolved from small bonfires to small paper bag lights, terminology has evolved as well and confusion as to what exactly a luminaria vs. farolito is. Farolito meaning small fire where as luminaria means small light. These two terms are now used interchangeably to describe the small paper bag lights that create a luminous wonderland in Santa Fe during December holiday season. Farolitos are much more risky as they are open fires vs. the small bagged light which are replicated for further safety by using small electric lights inside paper bags as can often be seen.
Making Your Own
Making luminarias, or farolitos, is fairly easy. Just purchase paper bags, votive candles and gather sand (dry). Crafty people may cut holiday shapes in the bags or textures on the top rim. Fill each bag with several inches of sand, then press a votive candle in the center of the sand so the flame does not touch the paper sides. We recommend lining your walk way and skip the more dangerous positioning of luminarias on your rooftop . Choose a dry night with very little wind so to prevent accidental ignition of bags. Luminarias usually burn about 4 hours before going out. You’ll probably be headed for bed about that time! So decorate, invite your friends and enjoy the ambiance and enchantment of true Santa Fe Christmas by bringing New Mexico traditions to your holiday decorating.