It all starts with careful planning to make sure the right ingredients are at hand. Then, families gather to put together a production line that only answers to the call of the Tamal. Many stories, laughs, and good food will entertain the workers who’s only motivation is the unique taste of that delicious dish which only happens in December and only that secret family recipe can bring to life. The tamales are then divided between family members and gifted to friends that look forward to that delicacy every year.
This small photography essay shows all the steps of the preparation of the tamales at the Ramos Cordero house, where the photographer has enjoyed many Christmases of the process but especially the best tamales in Costa Rica (according to the photographer of course!). We reproduce this essay in honor of Manuel Antonio Ramos, who always made sure his family could enjoy his mother’s recipe for tamales, perfected by his wife and executed by his daughters, granddaughters, and grandchildren (and nieces).
A previous version of this piece was published in Nature Landings, the in-flight magazine of Nature Air.