By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
South Padre Parade
The Third Annual San Benito News “Best Tamales in Town” contest, an event which attracted 17 contestants and 100 onlookers last year will be held Friday, Dec. 16. The event time will be announced in upcoming editions.
Gunning for a three-peat performance is San Benito resident Irma Gonzalez, who’s won the first two contests by winning over judges with her tasty entries, this among formidable contestants from a field including local eateries and fellow citizens.
For winning the competitions, Gonzalez has since enjoyed gift certificates awarded to her by the News to a sponsoring business, not to mention an article in the following edition of the News featuring her as the winner. As a result, Gonzalez has said that she receives dozens of orders for tamales following news of her success at the contest.
The same is promised this year to whoever wins the 2011 contest as a $100 gift certificate to a sponsoring business will be awarded and, as always, an article highlighting the winner will run in the Dec. 18 edition of the News.
Since its inaugural year in December 2009, entries have been judged by five individuals from throughout the area who serve the community in various capacities. They’ve included city officials, elected or otherwise, local businesspersons as well as citizens.
This year, the judges will be announced individually – starting in today’s issue – in each edition of the San Benito News leading up to the event. The issue dates are Nov. 30, Dec. 4, Dec. 7, Dec. 11 and Dec. 14.
As it has been the case in past competitions, many self-proclaimed tamale authorities have again inquired about the contest and how to become a judge and/or enter the 2011 competition, from second and third generation citizens who’ve added new twists to their grandparents’ and/or great grandparents’ recipes to local businesses seeking bragging rights.
Whatever the case, the tamale contest is open to the public, and all that is required is that contestants bring one dozen of their best tamales to the News office, located on 356 N. Sam Houston Blvd. in San Benito, by 12 noon Friday, Dec. 16. Judging will begin shortly thereafter and a winner will be announced once judges tally up their score sheets.
Entries are restricted to one entry per contestant to be judged on taste, texture, originality and presentation.
For more information on the contest, call (956) 399-2436.