Cassia's pot au feu (JBF Stamp) | Courtesy of Life & Thyme

A Cross-Cultural Hot Tamale Love Affair

In partnership with Southern Foodways Alliance: The Southern Foodways Alliance documents, studies and explores the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. Our work sets a welcome table where all may consider our history and our future in a spirit of respect and reconciliation.

Tamale-maker Elizabeth Scott developed a taste for the spiciness of tamales in 1940, when she enjoyed them before watching a movie at her local theater in Greenville, Mississippi. When her husband passed along a recipe he got from a Mexican man in the service, Scott went through many trials and errors until she perfected it and opened Scott's Tamales stand in Mississippi. 

The small stall still stands today. Six of her children and grandchildren are still rolling tamales with the classic family recipe. While people in the community make different varieties of tamales for Elizabeth and her family to taste -- including bologna, fish, and deer -- they say there's nothing like the TLC in their recipe. Tamale-making is not easy work, they warn, so "if you're not going to do it right, don't do it at all." 

Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Badmaash

Indian food has often been associated with stiff restaurants, all-you-can-eat buffets and heavily spiced, cream-based dishes. The Mahendro family (Anu, Pawan, Nakul and Arjun) immigrated to Los Angeles and found that they didn’t recognize any of the so-called Indian food available to them. Like carefully selected spices to a classic Indian dish, each family member contributes something special and significant to their restaurant Badmaash and to the city of L.A. Featured in the episode: Downtown L.A.’s Badmaash.

  • 2018-07-17T10:30:00-07:00
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Omotenashi

Charles Namba and Courtney Kaplan, the couple behind Echo Park's Tsubaki, have always loved the culture of izakaya but found Los Angeles lacking in these Japanese taverns. Sonoko Sakai is a teacher with a passion for buckwheat and the near-sacred art of soba noodles, and Seiichi Yokota knows how to prepare and preserve fresh fish with a traditional Japanese technique never seen before in Los Angeles. Each aims to introduce Angelenos to the unique spirit of Japanese hospitality and the culture's deep culinary customs.

  • 2018-07-24T10:30:00-07:00
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Alta California

A collective of culturally connected, distinguished chefs (including Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish, Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos, Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, as well as Jorge Gaviria of corn purveyor, Masienda) work to preserve heritage and push forward the “Alta California” Mexican food movement. By celebrating those dishes and ingredients integral to Mexico's cuisine and its economy, a group of accomplished Mexican-American chefs are working to elevate not only the food, but what people of their heritage can achieve in the food business.

  • 2018-07-31T10:30:00-07:00
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The Migrant Kitchen 1-Hour Special

Los Angeles’ booming food scene is being shaped by a new generation of chefs. Visit almost any kitchen in Los Angeles and it is likely you will find a migrant chef combining ethnic cuisines with new flavors and techniques. And often within the food, is a story of their migration.

“The politics of migration, the labor economy, all that drama plays out in the restaurants that we go to,” says journalist and author Rubén Martínez

  • 2018-08-11T04:00:00-07:00
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