Tamales are a staple in many South American countries, and are great for both a filling brunch and a quick snack. For the filling chicken thighs are simply seasoned and grilled, giving the meat a bit more flavor then the more common braised-to-boiled meat. Half the black beans are mashed to give the filling some body as well as some whole beans for texture.
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Among the more curious dishes in The Southern Foodways Alliance Community Cookbook are these Mississippi Delta Hot Tamales. Tamales are traditionally Mexican and the tale of how they made their way into the canon of Southern cooking more than a century ago is a truly American one. There are many takes on the story, but they all have something to do with Mexican laborers migrating north from Texas to pick cotton. There they shared their corn husk-wrapped snacks with African-American laborers and the tradition of the Mississippi Delta tamale was born.