Every year you probably say to yourself, "I'm going to learn to make tamales for the next holiday season." Then the just before that year is up, you conclude that it's too much of a task and you're not sure where to even begin.
Now, none of that matters, thanks to the Ranch Markets around the Valley. Starting this Friday, Nov. 7, classes will begin at the Roosevelt Street location in Central Phoenix. The best part: The classes are completely free.
During the hour-long classes, which will last until Dec.15, anyone who attends will learn how to make three different kinds of tamales. Red pork, sweet tamales made with strawberry and pineapple, and chicken tamales with green sauce are all on the agenda, and everyone will also learn to make arroz con leche, a popular Mexican dessert.
Denice Colombero, the market project manager for Ranch Market, says anyone who attends will leave with up to three of the red pork and green chicken tamales, and one pineapple and one strawberry tamale. Cooking and steaming tamales will be done by individuals in their homes, she said.
Last year Ranch Market held one tamale-making class and it was a "huge success," Colombero says, so they decided to expand the classes to all seven of their stores in Arizona.
Classes will be held on two different nights at each store, with classes taking place every hour from 4-6 p.m. Those who attend will also learn fun facts about the tamale and its history.
Colombero says making tamales every year is an event for her family, and she wants others to experience that as well, and know that it isn't as hard as some make it out to be.
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"Our biggest goal is to reach out beyond the communities where stores exist," she says. "We want people to get into the store and experience it."
To see a full list of classes and to sign up, visit Ranch Market's website.