Casa de Tamales

FRESNO, California The tamale-making starts at 8 o'clock every morning at Casa de Tamales-- or House of Tamales.

"We do the best tamales here," said Guadalupe Sanchez. You can't blame her for being biased. After all, the recipe for their fresh-ground masa, or dough -- was passed down to the family from her mother in Mexico.

"It's something that my family and I talked about for a long time, "said Roger Sanchez. "Ever since I was little my parents always talked about opening up a restaurant"

Now Roger, his three sisters, mom and dad and even his uncle all work together making tamales.

"People come in and say -- wow it smells like Christmas."

Here, it's Christmas year-round. The Sanchez family serves up tamales for breakfast, lunch and dinner -- but they've added a new twist to this traditional Mexican dish ...

"The flavors and the fillings -- those are fused with some of the new more modern things that we see out in the restaurants today," said Roger.

Their tamales come in 18 different flavors like sautéed shrimp, and spinach and artichoke.

"I used to live in San Francisco and we used to get a lot of vegetarians there," said sister Perla Sanchez. "And the Portobello and asparagus is actually vegan as well."

The sweet tamales -- like the strawberry cream cheese, pineapple coconut and candied guava -- are a hit with customers. Mom was initially hesitant about the gourmet tamales, preferring to stick to the traditional chicken and pork ... But she's now a convert -- with a new favorite.

"The chicken alfredo -- the chicken alfredo is my favorite and the sweet tamales, the guava."

Of course -- they also sell all of the traditional favorites.

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