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Tamales are a traditional, tasty treat for holiday

Manuel Perez, an employee at Ontario Mini Market, holds up one of the shop’s popular tamales. Although the business sells the tamales made from scratch year-round, the dish is most popular around Christmas. (The Enterprise/Yadira Lopez)

ONTARIO – Tamales are hardly ever missing from a Mexican family’s table on Christmas.

“It’s the most traditional thing we eat,” said Jessica Juarez, her arms elbow-deep in a giant vat of corn dough at Ontario Mini Market.

The market at 401 S. Oregon St. sells tamales year-round, but sales ramp up this time of year with 20 to 30 dozen tamales sold daily as the holiday nears, said Angel Perez, the shop’s co-owner.

Juarez learned to make them from the women in her family. She won’t share the secret . . .