Many festivals in Mexico are celebrated with food and this includes Dia de la Candelaria (Candlemas). Día de la Candelaria is a significant Mexican celebration held on 2 February and it has both indigenous and old world religious roots. On this day, it is traditional to make, share and eat lots of tamales - small parcels of corn dough with meat or vegetable filling, wrapped in a corn husk and steamed.
Melbourne's own La Candelaria Tamales Festival will take place at La Tortilleria , the Mexican eatery and tortilla manufacturer in Kensington. Over three days, you will be able to taste a variety of tamales from the different culinary regions of Mexico, as well as try the traditional Aztec drink of atole. Mexican traditions of this day will include a display of mazorcas (corn offerings to usher in a good harvest) and el niño Dios dolls.
6 authentic tamales will be served on the day for you to try: Tinga de Pollo (Chicken Tinga), Oaxaca Cheese with Pinto Beans, Chicharron en Salsa Verde (Pork in Green Salsa),
Carne Deshebrada (Shredded Beef with Ancho Chilli), Frijoles Norteños (vegan beans) and Dulces de Piña (pineapple dessert tamal).
You can also order tamales online to take home but make sure you order before January 28th and then pick up between 1-3 February. The online shop has lots of authentic Mexican food products as well as Australian bush foods, herbs, natural beauty products and many other things for purchase.
Bookings for the tamales festival are strongly recommended. If you can't make it for the festival, La Tortilleria serves authentic Mexican street food and is certainly worth a visit for that "Little Piece of Mexico in Melbourne". Check out their menu to see all that is on offer.