Coastal Bend tamales shops say the beloved Christmas comfort food sees a spike in sales when the weather turns colder each year.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As we head into the holiday weekend, Christmas presents won’t be the only thing folks will be unwrapping. We are talking about tamales! They are a delicious addition to the dinner table, and they bring in big business for Coastal Bend families, especially when it’s cold out.
But how big of a role does the weather actually play in those sales for tamales shops? And what are they expecting this Christmas?
At the Huerta’s Tamales bus off South Staples, cloudy skies are bringing in more customers, like Emilio Longoria.
“You better believe it! I’m ready for it, said Longoria. “It makes a big difference when it’s cold because it warms you up.”
Workers at Huerta’s said the weather forecast helps predict just how many tamales they’ll sell. If it’s rainy or there’s a chill in the air, business-no doubt heats up.
But if it’s warm out, it slows down a bit, and they’re not the only shop in town that swears by the link between tamales and the weather.
Across town, at Granny’s Tamales in Annville, off Leopard Street, Melissa Martinez easily sold her last batch after a busy day.
“First thing in the morning, 6:30 or 7 in the morning so if you want to come on by, that would be the best time,” she said.
“Number one seller- cooked it nonstop today, our chicken jalapeno cream cheese.”
Martinez said she can also predict an uptick in sales when the weather drops.
“As soon as that rain came through, it picked up tremendously.”
Melissa is a firm believer of the impact the weather can bring, and she has years of experience in watching customers come and go.
Her family has served the Coastal Bend for almost 3 decades.
“The cold is the busiest time, although its Christmas it is not as good as a cold Christmas that is when people really tie it in and say I don’t just want them because of the tradition, I want them because I’m feeling it.”
While this year the holiday might bring milder weather to the Coastal Bend ahead of Christmas, tamales shops say they still expect the cars to line up.
Martinez says her team will be cooking nonstop this weekend to meet the demand, but there’s no other place she’d rather be.
“It is my favorite time of year growing up here and the business being surrounded, I grew up in it “
If you want to secure your tamales in time for Christmas…Martinez urged one simple piece of advice
“We have the hot and ready to eat, and frozen options, you don’t have to wait until the 24th to get them, you can start buying them now.”
After all, it’s tradition.
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