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Supply shortages impacting holiday tamales in Southeast Texas restaurants

The holiday staple is the latest item to be impacted by the global supply shortage.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Tamales are a cultural tradition and a holiday staple, but if you're planning on stocking up for Christmas dinner, be ready to pay a little extra this year. And, expect that the tamales may even taste different.

One restaurant owner said certain essentials for tamales are up $5 to $10. And ultimately those high prices may trickle down to consumers.

Over at Marisela's Tamales, things get a little busy around this time of year.

“We had a good year for Thanksgiving, we had you get pre-order orders and so that was good for us,” said restaurant owner Israel Ahumada.

He said the demand for tamales increases after Thanksgiving, but they may not be able to meet the demand without the right supplies.

“Well, it's a hit or miss, you know,” Ahumada said.

The holiday staple is the latest item to be impacted by the global supply shortage.

“It's basically the meat, you know. The product, it's gone a little high,” Ahumada said.

Meanwhile, other important ingredients for the recipe are becoming hard to get.

“They're running out supplies and there's some other products that we ordered in a truck gets here but the product is not here,” Ahumada said.

This shortage stretches far beyond Southeast Texas.

Over in San Antonio, the owner of Tellez Tamales & Barbacoa Gabriel Tellez said they're having to switch things up.

“Spices that we used to use all the time that we had to change to a different one like chili powder, for instance. and you know, that changes your recipe a big-time,” Tellez told our San Antonio sister station KENS5.

Ahumada said he has to drive an hour and a half to buy essentials needed for their tamales.

“You know, sometimes I go to Houston and drive and I find the product, and the higher the price,” Ahumada said.

But despite the shortage, he's hopeful he'll be able to provide the comfort tamales bring and make his customers happy.

“I have faith. You got to keep going. You got to try your best, you know, make everybody, try to make everybody happy,” Ahumada said.

Ahumada said he's unsure how long this shortage will last. He said he’s not sure if he will increase menu prices.

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