Nothing speaks to the holidays here more than the fresh scent in the air.
With the Indio International Tamale Festival happening this weekend, vendors are prepping their dishes two days in advance of the event.
The annual tradition is making a comeback after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, bringing back tamale connoisseurs and any tamale lover.
One of the businesses returning this year, Outside the Masa, will be selling their unique beef birria tamale.
“The idea was to make the tamale deconstructed inside, where we would open the shell, we would split the masa, you know a little bit in the middle, and then throw the juicy birria right on top of it.” Juan Carlos Barajas, co-founder of Outside the Masa, explains.
This small tamale business officially started at the 2016 tamale festival. Barajas said that as a startup, they only expected to sell a few, but sold out their entire lot in the first four hours of the festival.
Since then, Outside the Masa has also appeared at other local events. The business operated only outside the Barajas’ house, making the tamale trade a family affair.
The man behind Masa’s birria is Juan Carlos’ father, Carlos Baraja, who said he spent years perfecting his birria recipe.
“We knew my dad had something special when we lived in the apartment when we were kids, people started asking him if you could make birria for our wedding. And then it was gone. “Juan Carlos Barajas said.
The Carlos family contributed to the idea of creating what they are selling now as birria tamale.
The Indio Tamale Festival will take place from December 4th and December 5th starting at 10am on both days. It will be at the 100 Civic Center Mall in downtown Indio.
There’s also live music, parties, “World’s Largest Giving House” and lots of tamales to choose from.
Admission is free and parking is available at the County Administration Building, the Larson Justice Center, on the corner of Highway 111 and Oasis Street. Free shuttle will be provided.
https://kesq.com/news/2021/12/03/bringing-tamales-and-birria-into-one/ Bringing tamales and birria into one