Dine and Dish: Golden Tamale in Downtown Fresno

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Wednesday, December 21, 2022
Dine and Dish: Golden Tamale in Downtown Fresno
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The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for the Golden Tamale at P and Inyo in Downtown Fresno.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For many Valley families, Christmas isn't Christmas without tamales.

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for the Golden Tamale at P and Inyo in Downtown Fresno.

"These are actually the only tamales I've ever eaten in my life. To us, it's very meaningful. It gathers the families together," said Sergio Velasco, co-owner of Golden Tamale.

Velasco says their most popular tamale is the green chili cheese and chicken.

"You gotta make sure the masa is correct, you gotta make sure the sauce is correct, you gotta make sure the pork or chicken is cooked just right," Velasco explained. "That's good stuff."

The recipe was created by Sergio's grandmother, 93-year-old Juanita Castaneda.

She still works in the kitchen at the restaurant when she can.

"Nobody can make them like grandma. She still chews us out, so, there's times like this morning when she pulled me aside and said 'this one right here, you need to put a little more manteca on it.' I always just nod my head and say, 'yes,' you know," said Velasco.

So, what is the secret formula that makes Juanita's tamales so delicious?

"She said her main thing is when you make it, you make sure you put enough lard in there," Velasco explained for his grandmother. "You make sure you put enough of the quality meats inside of there."

It is a family affair, but out of grandma's ten kids, only a few learned how to make tamales her way.

"She said only me and him know how to make them out of the whole family the right way that she makes them," said Velasco.

Velasco's brother, Daniel, also helps wrap tamale.

Golden Tamale introduced an Oreo dessert tamale during Halloween.

''Those have been selling out like crazy. I eat one like every night. I'm trying to stay away from them but they're really good," Velasco said.

The work never stops in the kitchen.

Velasco says families have already ordered close to 100 dozen tamales for pick-up on Christmas Eve.