Despite a kingly feast at Doe’s Eat Place, I couldn’t help remembering an inconspicuous sign on my drive through Greenville. It read, plain as day, deep fried tamales. I knew, despite my aching stomach, that I had to try this place out.
Hot Tamale Heaven really is nothing more than a trailer with a few signs and a couple of picnic tables out front.
I pulled in and got a chance to read their lengthy menu.
Try as I might, I couldn’t find a single healthy item on the menu, but if you’re enticed by a sign that says fried tamales, you’re not looking for health food.
After hitting the buzzer a few times, a very helpful employee appeared and took my initial order of three fried tamales. A few minutes later, the owner came to the window to deliver them.
Aaron, the owner of Hot Tamale Heaven and a mountain of a man, was more than happy to talk a blue streak about tamales, and was even more excited when I mentioned my hometown favorite, Tony’s Tamales.
Now the moment, you’ve all been waiting for: the fried tamales
Beneath a crispy exterior lies an almost liquid center of corn meal and beef.
These weren’t the spiciest tamales, but they were quite a treat. We all agreed that they needed some sort of dipping sauce as the well seasoned corn meal and beef weren’t enough for the batter exterior. Aaron suggested ranch dressing, and I tried it once I got home.
The first bite lead me to believe that ranch dressing was the key, but I realized that ranch didn’t so much compliment the tamale as overpower it. What this fried tamale needs is a good spicy salsa.
Getting back to the tamales, I knew I couldn’t just try the fried tamales, so I ordered a dozen of Aaron’s regular tamales to go.
I was glad to see the style of foil wrapped tamales.
Knowing full well, that tamales are best when fresh, I tried one before I got back in the car.
Unwrapping the traditional corn husk, I was able to taste Aaron’s take on the Mississippi Delta tamale.
Like this fried tamales, the regular tamales are extremely tasty with just a little bit of heat and comforting bit of greasiness.
If you’re looking for a non-greasy tamale, you’re looking in the wrong part of the country. The tamales at Hot Tamale Heaven are an excellent example of the breed. Unlike their Latino counterparts, Delta tamales aren’t steamed, rather they are boiled in a mixture of heady mixture of spices and stock. Even though Aaron and his Hot Tamale Heaven fare did nothing to ease my achingly full stomach, I was more than pleased with this spur of the moment stop. I’m looking forward to my next trip to Greenville and another visit to Hot Tamale Heaven.