Food Critic Turns Love of Tamales into Online Musical Tribute

By Strupp, Joe | Editor & Publisher, December 21, 2007 | Go to article overview

Food Critic Turns Love of Tamales into Online Musical Tribute


Strupp, Joe, Editor & Publisher


It's not unusual for food critics to rave on and on with loving adjectives about a particular dish. But Ed Murrieta of The News Tribune in Tacoma, Wash., has taken it to a new level -- putting his admiration to music.

Murrieta, who has waxed poetic about local vittles and victuals as the News Tribune's food critic for more than three years, wanted so much to share his love of tamales with readers that just writing about the Mexican specialties was not enough.

So when the paper posted his latest feature story on Wednesday about what he termed "bundles of corn dough filled with savory and sweet ingredients," Murrieta also included, on his blog, a song he had written about his love of the delicacy.

Titled, "My Lady of Tamales," the tune, recorded by local singer Dave Barfield, also was purchased by a local company, HGI Publishing.

"At work, we are supposed to think multimedia angles," said Murrieta, 42, who says he cannot sing, but likes to "write songs and make noise on the guitar." He said the song idea came to him in November as he walked his dog and got a hankering for one of his favorite dishes.

"I was in a song mood and in the mood for tamales," he recalls. Within a month, the song was written, recorded and sold.

Among the lyrics: "She cooks every morning/each one made by hand/Tamales, tamales/made in her new land. Days on the corner/nights door to door/selling tamales/and giving her soul."

"This is the only song I've ever written about food," Murrieta said when asked if other cooking-related tunes might follow. "If it is appropriate to food, yes."

Murrieta said he had used his blog on one earlier occasion to add a multimedia element to a story. In July, when he wrote about artisan jerky, a video showing the jerky-making process, with his narration, was posted on the blog.

There was also the song he wrote about Bill Clinton in 1992, titled, "Give Bill a Chance. …

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