Increasing Number of North Texans Opting to Unwrap a Beloved Mexican Tradition for Christmas Dinner

An increasing number of North Texans are opting to unwrap a Mexican staple for Christmas dinner.

At Dallas Tortilla Factory in Red Oak, customers say the wait is worth it.

“I’m praying that I get some, that they’re not sold out,” said Hope McCullough. “However long it takes to wait, I’m going to wait.”

In the back of the small family-owned business, several members of the Leal family are churning them out as fast as possible:

Dozens of piping hot tamales.

Pork and beef options are wrapped in corn masa, steamed in corn husks and are stacked, packed and ready to go.

By around noon, every call is answered in the same way.

“I’m sorry, dear. We actually are about to turn off the light,” said Lena Leal, the owner’s daughter to a customer on the phone.

Unwrapping the Mexican tradition has become a tradition for McCullough’s family.

“They’re really good,” she said. “Probably the last five years after my grandmother passed we started trying to do something different.”

Leal says tamales are increasingly becoming a Christmas Eve/Day-must for non-Latinos.

“If they just moved here from up North or out of the country, they always find their way to tamales,” she said. “It’s really a Texas thing.”

Dallas Tortilla Factory has been serving North Texas for 68 years.

One of the original owners’ sons expanded to Red Oak eight years ago.

“And now we’re really feeding Ferris, we’re feeding Corsicana, we’re feeding Cedar Hill,” said Leal.

As a family business grows, so does love for this longstanding tradition.

“It just goes to show something like tamales can bring cultures from everywhere together,” said McCullough. “It’s not a Hispanic thing or a black thing or a Caucasian thing. It is just the food. It’s the food and everybody likes tamales.”

Dallas Tortilla Factory’s Oak Cliff location tells NBC 5 they still have tamales and will be open until 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

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