By Denise Ortuno

Some people wiggle around and wait impatiently all year for the holidays to arrive. There’s a warm and cozy feeling all around with Thanksgiving, Christmas festivities and all the trimmings, and oh yeah….La Casuelas Terraza’s Sweet Corn Tamales and Pomegranate Guacamole!

The original Las Casuelas in Palm Springs will soon be celebrating 60 years of bringing authentic Mexican cuisine to desert diners. The Delgado family of restaurants started with a small café in 1958, only blocks away from Las Casuelas Terraza, which opened in 1979, and with 100 year old recipes from the family’s matriarch Mario Farjardo, they have been going strong ever since.

One of the recipes that have been satisfying crowds for years, is their Sweet Corn Tamales and Pomegranate Guacamole, which are offered during the November and December holiday season. When I sat down with Farjardo’s great grandson and Las Casuelas Terraza’s general manager Patrick Service, he explained how their delicious Sweet Corn Tamales coincide with the harvest of the specialty sweet corn grown locally in the Coachella Valley. It is a short term harvest as is the availability of the tamales.

The Sweet Corn Tamales and Pomegranate Guacamole pair nicely together. The tamales are absolutely fantastic, and although the sweetness of the corn is present, it is not too sweet. Perhaps it is the other participating ingredients that teeter the tamale away from overt sweetness, with Monterey Jack cheese, pineapple, and poblano chiles….an excellent combination! The plated tamales are topped with a light mole style sauce, and come with the restaurants addictive refried beans and rice.

The Pomegranate Guacamole is not only fun to eat with the pop of the little red seeds swirled on a chip with velvety avocado, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing to look at. I mean really, red and green?…..very holiday-ish! Needless to say, I was more than happy to be trying these holiday faves for my review. As someone who loves tamales, these Sweet Corn Tamales were up there with the best tamales that I’ve ever had. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so, as the demand for these little masa bundles of loveliness sell fast during the short time that they are around, “We sell a lot of them by the dozen for holiday parties,” said Service.

Along with the not to be missed Sweet Corn Tamales and Pomegranate Guacamole, is their new West Coast IPA beer, Tio Pepe, crafted locally by Babes Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse. The full-bodied brew is named after the restaurants beloved parrot and mascot, Tio Pepe. Tio Pepe was one of two parrots that graced Las Casuelas Terraza upon opening in the late 70’s. Tio Pepe, along with his mate, Tia Maria, were favorites of restaurant guests and staff, “He was our first maitre’d,” said Service. After Tia Maria passed away in the mid 80’s, broken hearted Tio Pepe followed soon after. The new beer is in memory of the charming mascots, and is described as being somewhere between the taste of an IPA and Negro Modelo. The beer compliments menu selections with ample meaty flavor profiles such as their carnitas.

There is so much to enjoy this holiday season in the Coachella Valley! To add to your enjoyment, make sure not to miss out on tasty seasonal Sweet Corn Tamales and Pomegranate Guacamole from Las Casuelas Terraza in Palm Springs…all washed down with some Tio Pepe IPA. Happy Holidays!

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