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Mon Jun 25 2012 (Updated 06/26/12) Mexican Cultural Celebration benefits Springfield Grange & Center for Farmworker Families
Tamale Festival Held at Springfield Grange in Pajaro Valley On Saturday, June 23rd, the Springfield Grange in Pájaro hosted the Festival of Tamales, a benefit for the Grange and Center for Farmworker Families. The menu featured delicious sweet and savory tamales, made with GMO-free masa from El Aguila Foods, including turkey and chile verde, sweet corn, and ollalieberry pecan praline.

The Springfield Grange, an 80-year old institution on the corner of Werner and Elkhorn Roads in North Monterey County, remained inactive for the last several years, following decades serving as a social and political hub for farmers in the region. In 2011, 65 new members joined, making Springfield one of the fastest growing granges in California.

A flyer for the event explains the tamale's history: "The word 'tamale' derives from the Nahuatl language (tamalli), still spoken in many parts of West Central Mexico and sprinkling the vocabulary of the Spanish spoken in the Pájaro Valley. Corn being native to the Americas, countries throughout the western hemisphere have their own versions of tamales based on pre-Colombian recipes and customs."

The tamales were made by local community members using recipes from El Salvador, Mexico, Texas, and the Monterey Bay Area.

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