Annual Tamale Taste-Off brings out the best chefs - WNEM TV 5

Annual Tamale Taste-Off brings out the best chefs

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Saginaw's best tamales were put to the test with an annual cook-off.

“If they’re dry on no,” said Maia Wiederhold, the La Union Mexicana Queen.

Wiederhold knows exactly how she likes her tamales.

“It just needs to have overall good flavor,” Wiederhold said.

Part of her duties is helping host their 9th annual Tamale Taste-Off competition.

“My favorite part of today is just getting to see everyone all together and celebrating our heritage,” Wiederhold. “Tamales are something that people make during the winter and during Christmas time so it just brings everyone together during this time of the year.”

Nine vendors dished out their recipes to compete for bragging rights of Saginaw’s best tamales.

Some were more serious than others.

“I cannot give you the secret recipe,” said David Gallardo. “I will not.”

Gallardo and his family are first-timers at the taste off. They’re using their grandmother’s tamale recipe that’s been passed on from generation to generation.

The tamale taste off is the first time the Vasquez family has shared their secret recipes with the rest of the world, but they say they’re not in it for the money.

This year’s competition is about honoring their grandmother’s traditions and their Hispanic heritage.

“We have a little bit of extra ingredients on there as a topping,” Gallardo said.

Wiederhold is thankful for vendors like the Vasquez family because their tasty tamales will help make future celebrations possible.

“It’s something that’s just bringing everyone together and the money that is being raised right now is going back to the Civica,” Wiederhold said. “So it’s going to help us celebrate our heritage even further during the Cinco de Mayo parade.”

The winner of the 9th annual Tamale Taste-Off for 2017 is Tino’s tamale and more.

If you’d like to try out the tamales, the restaurant is located in Saginaw.

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