Indio Tamale Festival: Delicious December

Spend the first weekend of the last month devouring corn-tastic delights galore.

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THERE'S A LOT OF LUSCIOUS LORE... surrounding what we eat on the first day of the new year. Every dish — scratch that, every new ingredient — carries some importance or a story, and all the tidbits we devour during the day and night on the first of January are said to have some influence on our months to come. But what about starting off a month in the same way? Shouldn't each fresh page on the calendar come with a little cuisine-based magic? And, if so, isn't December the foodie-iest, most enchanting month of all? If you're nodding your head, or patting your belly, or pondering what plateful happening this is all leading to, consider this: the Indio International Tamale Festival is the perfect and savory and perfect starter to the most suppable stretch on the calendar. True, we said "perfect" twice, but we are talking about tamales, and some of the most magnificent tamale artists around. And they'll soon gather for...

TWO DAYS OF TAMALE YUM: This means, for those who attend, a whole bunch of tamales to try, from carnitas to calabacitas to straight-up sweet corn to those tamales that go best with tart salsa or a rich mole. A carnival, a beer garden, an interactive art area, a car show on Saturday, and an area for the kids to play? All part of the joy, as are the contests, which include a Best Tamale Contest and, you got it, a Tamale-Eating Contest, as well as a Best Tamale Flavored by Tabasco Contest. Is this how your delicious December should open in 2017? And in every year to come? Be in the Coachella Valley on Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3 for a true cornucopia of corn-based bites.

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