HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Christmas is just days away, and for many in the Rio Grande Valley, tamales are the go-to food to celebrate the holidays with family and friends.
This year, the tamalada may end up costing you a few extra bucks.
It is no secret the cost of living is on the rise, and this year that inflation will likely cut into your dinner.
“On the pork, it used to be .99 cents a pound, and now it’s $1.90,” said Sonia Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is the founder of ‘Sonia’s Tamales’ where she’s been serving up delicious goodness since 1999.
“I was maybe like 12,” she said. “My mom showed me how to make tamales.”
She’s keeping her mom’s special recipe but this year, it’s the prices she can’t maintain.
“The corn husks I buy them in packages of 10 dozen for a batch, and I used to buy them for $3 now it’s $5,” she said.
In 2020, a dozen chicken tamales cost $7.99. This year it’s up to $9.99.
“If you add all those extra dollars up it’s quite a bit,” she said.
She used to have a storefront in McAllen, but after nearly 20 years the pandemic forced her to close her doors.
“It stung a lot, I even get teared eyed,” she said.
Despite the setbacks, Sonia refuses to let that slow her down.
“It’s hard but you have to keep on going, we have to keep on going, it will be ok,” she said.
Her tamale machines are still churning, only this holiday it’s from a makeshift factory inside her home.
“My kids, my family they tell me ‘you can do it mom, you have good tamales’ and I’m like okay,” she said.
With her family’s support and a few loyal workers that stuck with her, she’s still making tamales for the residents of the RGV.
This year she says she is donating part of her proceeds to a family member whose home was recently damaged in a wind storm.