Holiday Treats with La Cocina


Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas; Facebook photo by © John Ater.


Fans of good food, whether they’re gifting or receiving, will appreciate the selection at the third annual ~LA COCINA GIFT BAZAAR~ on Friday December 9th, 5pm-9pm, at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts. Admission is free to peruse the artisanal and handcrafted food products from La Cocina program participants and select local vendors.

It’s a great place to shop for holiday gifts from a variety of vendors in one place, including new start-ups Sal de Vida (flavor-infused salts, rice and soup mixes), Jarred (seasonal pickles), and Familia del Sol (grandma’s salsas). Other vendors may be old standbys, but they’ve got new products for you to check out, like Clairesquares’ holiday brandy butter and La Luna Cupcakes’ snowmen cake truffles.

Don’t pass up the drinks from local distillers mixed by Rye on the Road, and all the deliciousness to be found in “Tamale Alley” with Estrellita’s Snacks, Chaac Mool, Maite Catering, and others. And don’t overlook all the exciting “experience gift” ideas in the silent auction, which starts December 3rd. 2868 Mission St. at 25th St.

Did the mention of tamales inspire you to learn how to make these masa-filled goodies? You’ve got two upcoming chances, and both benefit La Cocina. On December 14th, La Cocina is hosting La Tamalada: their ultimate tamale-making class with not one but three top Bay Area tamale makers—Alicia of Tamales los Mayas, Maria of Estrellita’s Snacks, and Isabel of El Buen Comer—combining their cooking powers for one class. Learn to make tamales from scratch, with drinks and dinner included, and take home a bag of tamales. You’ll also leave with tips on throwing your own tamale-making party. $65, 6:30pm-9pm. 2948 Folsom St. at 25th St., 415-824-2729.

Chance number two is December 17th, when Alicia of Tamales Los Mayas will teach the art of the tamale at Macy’s Union Square at 2pm. Experience the magic of tamales made with love, and shop the La Cocina holiday gift fair too. Tickets are $20 online. 170 O’Farrell St. at Stockton.