Ervin’s Hot Tamales


3789 Hemphill Road
Sledge, MS 38670
(662) 363-3535

Rosetta Ervin’s late husband, Louis Ervin, grew up in Tunica County, Mississippi, and learned about hot tamales from a local Jewish man. In 1966, Mr. Ervin purchased a recipe from a man across the river in Arkansas. He paid over one thousand dollars for it, a price that certainly underscores his faith in making and selling tamales. After perfecting their new recipe, Mr. and Mrs. Ervin spent many an evening and weekend peddling their tamales in downtown Tunica. In the early days, they sold hot tamales for seventy-cents a dozen from a converted milk truck. When their daughter, Edna, was old enough, she helped too. Today, Rosetta and Edna work in a custom kitchen behind their home. They make tamales from the same recipe, only now they wrap their tamales in parchment paper, not shucks. Edna hand-delivers bundles to customers throughout the north Delta.

Date of interview:

June 28, 2005

Interviewer:

Amy C. Evans

Photographer:

Amy C. Evans

Ervin's Hot Tamales - Rosetta and Edna Ervin - MS - Tamale Trail
Well, for a while people really didn't like [our tamales in parchment paper] as well as they did in the shuck. But as time passed they got where it didn't really make no difference, it's a tamale.

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