Last year, Santa Barbara Tamales-to-Go sold out of owner Richard Lambert’s inventive, delicious cornmeal-wrapped creations by mid-December, weeks before the tamale’s traditional Christmas splash. This year, Lambert hopes to make things “go a little more smoothly” through an online ordering system (which went live on October 13) and by freezing the fresh-steamed tamales before their delivery between December 10 and 23. “Folks can then heat and serve them whenever they wish, maybe saving a few in the freezer for post-holiday munching,” explained Lambert, who says they take about 20 or so minutes to reheat. “We’ll make 5,000 holiday tamales again this year, and I am guessing we’ll sell out. Still, the tamale fans who order early have a great shot at serving our tamales during the holidays.”
The tamales, which cost $3.75 apiece, come in five flavors: chicken verde, chipotle pork, chili and cheese, spicy black bean, and farmers’ market. Pints of chipotle salsa or salsa verde can also be purchased for $10. Order at tinyurl.com/sbtamales.