FRONTERAS: 'The First Fast Food'; Honoring Pearl Harbor Hero; & 'The Nutcracker'

Dec 22, 2017

This week on Fronteras:

  • The rich history of tamales.
  • Remembering a Pearl Harbor hero in Waco (12:56).
  • Ballet dancer lives the American dream performing “The Nutcracker” (15:37).

Carmen Tafolla, Ellen Riojas Clark
Credit Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

‘Tamales, Comadres, and the Meaning of Civilization’

Tamales come in all sizes and are filled with all sorts of ingredients.

And in the Mexican culture, making tamales is a community affair, with family and friends gathering to create the flavorful packets.

We are joined by Carmen Tafolla and Ellen Riojas Clark,, co-authors of the book “Tamales, Comadres, and the Meaning of Civilization,” who break down the history of tamales and why they play such an important role in our culture.


Doris Miller, official U.S. Navy Photo
Credit Wikimedia Commons /

Pearl Harbor Hero Remembered

Holidays are a time for people coming together, and the honoring of a unsung Pearl Harbor veteran is attempting to do just that. You might not have heard of the African-American sailor Doris Miller.

In a ceremony on the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, people gathered in Miller’s hometown of Waco to remember his service and unveil a new statue in his honor.

KWBU’s Will Burney reports the statue is serving as a way to heal some of the city’s racial divide.


Andre Silva with Leticia Oliveira in ‘The Nutcracker’
Credit Texas Ballet Theater

Dancer Lives His Dream In “The Nutcracker”

For dance companies, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a performance of the holiday favorite, “The Nutcracker.”

The ballet is basically the story of a young girl's dream. But building that dream onstage takes talent, money, art and muscle. Texas Ballet Theater's Nutcracker features more than 50 performers. One of its leading dancers is Andre Silva. 

KERA’s Jerome Weeks has a profile.


Norma Martinez can be reached by email at and on Twitter @NormDog1