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Louisiana Eats: Delta Hot Tamales


On this week’s show, we travel to Greenville, Mississippi for their annual Delta Hot Tamale Festival


The King and Queen of the Delta Hot Tamale Festival
Credit Courtesy of Poppy Tooker / Louisiana Eats
Louisiana Eats
The King and Queen of the Delta Hot Tamale Festival

We begin by speaking with author Julia Reed, who participates as the festival’s official Pizzazz Consultant. Julia’s writing has graced the pages of NewsweekThe Wall Street Journal, Vogue Magazine and Garden and Gun. She shares memories of the very first Hot Tamale Festival and the significance of the hot tamale in the Mississippi Delta.

Leading off the festival, Julia facilitates a conversation for the Literary/Culinary Mash-Up, featuring some of our favorite chefs and writers. Roy Blount, Jr., Calvin Trillin, and Chef Allison Vines-Rushing discuss stories about and around the Southern table.


We also meet several vendors involved in the hot tamale cook-off, including Larry Harmon, who welcomes us to his award-winning, family-run Hot Tamale Heaven.


After spending an afternoon sampling the many varieties of tamales, we meet one of the festival’s founders—a hot tamamma named Anne Martin, whose book offers a historical record of the distinctive culinary treat. 


For more cultural context, we turn to John T. Edge, Director of the Southern Foodways Alliance. John T. shares his point of view on tamales and the South.


Hot tamales and they’re red hot…on this week’s Louisiana Eats


For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at

Poppy is the host and executive producer of the weekly show, Louisiana Eats! Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table.