A tamale from the Indio festival
Omid Tavallai/Flickr

DECEMBER

Indio International Tamale Festival

If you have never unwrapped the cornhusk of a tamale to reveal the delicious, steaming filling inside—well, you’ve got a good thing coming. Head for this amazing event, just south of Palm Springs (and near the tamale mother land, Mexico), to experience an incredible array of authentic tamales. The festival also includes a best-recipe competition, a tamale-eating contest, a parade, and mariachis and other live performers on five stages, folklorico dancers, mariachis in concert, and a car show featuring hot rods and low riders. It’s no wonder that this event has earned a spot on the Food Network’s top 10 list of American food festivals.