A tradition that is wrapped in tamale leaves in Mazatlan

Lucia Mendoza heads the business that has been the breadwinner for three generations

Mazatlan, Sin.- Every year, Candelaria Day is one of the busiest for Lucia Mendoza Villarreal, who cooks and sells tamales at the stand located on Juan Carrasco Avenue, in the Center of Mazatlan, which every February 2 It is filled with customers in search of this pre-Hispanic dish to fulfill the Christian tradition.

Resultado de imagen de Tamales La Cuchillita"

On a common day, Mrs. Lucia and her closest relatives prepare between 150 and 200 tamales of corn, pineapple, and cheese slices; for Candelaria Day they make double because customers are more.

Resultado de imagen de Tamales La Cuchillita"

At 68 years old, she heads the three-generation family business, Tamales La Cuchillita”, created in 1970. To prepare the tamales and be ready for 12:00 hours and start with the sale in the post, you have to get up daily at 4:00 in the morning.

She comments that by this date the Mazatlecos began to separate the tamales from a week before, the fort begins three days before the celebration of the Virgin, but also many people arrive directly.

Making tamales takes a long process, we get up at 4:00 in the morning to start with the preparation and we start doing tamales at 8:00 in the morning; They start selling after 11:00.

Lucia Mendoza

In this way, everything is ready so that the lucky or unlucky ones who touched them the ‘Child God’ of the Rosca de Reyes, can buy dozens of tamales and invite the whole family to dinner.


This family business is constant, not only does Candelaria Day work, but it is alive all year, open from 12:00 to 18:00. Cooking and selling sweet tamales is a family tradition that he inherited from his mother, Delfina Villarreal Medrano.

Accustomed to the smell of corn, pineapple, and chili peppers, when she was 29 she learned to prepare tamales, that was her beginning of what is now her trade of more than half of her life.

Resultado de imagen de tamales rajas con queso"

Doña Lucía remembers that when her mother started selling tamales, the sales were very good and although they have gone down a bit, they have managed to stay in the customers’ taste.

There is a lot of competition, but as the phrase says: ‘For all there is’, like any business, you have good days and others not so much, but thank God, although it is slow, everything is always sold.

Lucia Mendoza

She points out that the tamales that are most sold are those of corn, an ingredient that is acquired during the season here in Mazatlan and when there is none they bring it from Culiacán, Hermosillo, Guanajuato, Michoacán, Jalisco, and Nayarit.

At 68 years old, Mrs. Lucia heads the family business of “Tamales La Cuchillita”. 


Doña Lucía says that in order to prepare so many tamales, she not only wants her physical strength, but also her husband, a sister and her daughters Alma Leticia, Lucia and Silvia, who help her elaborate them.

From Siqueiros, where she was originally from, her mother managed to place herself in a little knife that has had a good response from Mazatlecos and visitors.

With pride, she presumes that her recipe is unique and that the tamales she and her family prepare are handmade, with love and quality ingredients. The most important thing is that for five decades, the business has given his family to live.

These tamalitos come since my mother was, the recipe that was brought from Siqueros, she started in 1970, hence my sister, I, and three of my daughters are already involved.

Lucia Mendoza

In the preparation of tamales, 6 people are involved, who cut the corn, peel, slice, take the mill and then prepare the dough, make them tie and cook them, in addition to another person who sells them.


The tamales of La Cuchillita, which are priced at 13 and 14 pesos, are very traditional in Mazatlan, even many people who live outside when they come to the port are looking for them, because they are recommended by people who already tried them and take them to Guadalajara, Torreón, Mexico City and the United States.

Doña Lucía says that she will continue working while she can and want to have her there, then her daughters will stay so that the tradition of three generations is not lost.

I already taught them to work, they know the recipe and all the procedure that is required, they also have a very good hand, because making tamales is not anything.

Lucia Mendoza

Over the decades, the business is also known as “The little greenhouse” –“La casita verde”, remain in the same place and retains the same recipe. To celebrate the Virgen de la Candelaria or to taste its flavor any day of the year, they are available to Mazatlecos and their visitors.

Resultado de imagen de Tamales La Cuchillita"


4:00 in the morning, time Mrs. Lucia gets up to prepare the tamales.

200 tamales of corn, pineapple, and rajas with cheese made by Mrs. Lucia daily.

400 tamales sell Candelaria Day.

68 years old has Mrs. Lucia.

1970, the year in which “Tamales La Cuchillita” emerged.

6 people are involved in the elaboration of tamales.

13 and 14 pesos are the prices of tamales.

How to get to Tamales la Cuchillita

Source: el sol de mazatlan, sel

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