Every year, more than 100,000,000 tamales are eaten in Mexico alone. They are one of the most popular foodie imports that have come into America, and have particularly taken the southern states by storm. The Hot Tamale Trail is in the state of Mississippi, and runs between Tunica and Vicksburg. This route is so famous that the Southern Foodways Alliance have featured it on their app, and you can enjoy an audio history tour along the way, whilst visiting the 30 venues, all dishing up very different tamales. It is the perfect road trip for any foodie, and the Mississippi Delta scenery is beautiful along the way.
Before you head out on your Tamale Trail road trip, it is worth investing in a quality car. It is easy to search for vehicles that are local to you and find something reliable. The Mississippi roads can be dry and bumpy, so make sure you check your tires before you start out. One of your first stops if you want to combine the tamale and barbecue movement has to be Abe’s Hot Tamales (616 N State St, Clarksdale, MS 38614-6518), on the crossroads of U.S Highways 49 and 61. This is reportedly where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Abe’s BBQ joint has been around since 1924 and specializes in what’s known as Delta Hot Tamales made with mouth-watering barbecued pork. You might need a napkin.
The Ground Zero Blues Club (387 Delta Ave, Clarksdale, MS 38614) is known for its legendary fried tamales. The restaurant is co-owned by the “voice of God,” Morgan Freeman. Not only can you sample some incredible blues music at Ground Zero, but also some delicious and unusual fried tamales. Pairing those with the fried green tomato sandwich and the fried chocolate brownie, your arteries might not thank you, but your tastebuds will.
Long and slow
The tamales at Hicks Tamales and BBQ Shop (305 S State St, Clarksdale, MS 38614) are legendary because they take three days to make (don’t worry, they make them in advance). The meat is slow-cooked so it is succulent and juicy, giving it bags of flavor. You can order the hot tamales 3, 6 or a dozen at a time – perfect if you’re very hungry on your road trip.
The tamales in Mississippi are definitely worth traveling for. Taking The Hot Tamale Trail is the best way of sampling them all.