Lanier High School sets Guinness World Record for tamales in 2011

On December 6, 2011, students and community members gathered at Lanier High School for a tamalada. Together, the community prepared 17,106 tamales weighing in at 2,420 pounds in only 10 hours.

"It's the bringing of people together that makes a tamalada, a tamalada," San Antonio Independent School District 5 Trustee Patti Radle said during an assembly on April 3.

The folks at Guinness World Records in England didn't have any records regarding tamaladas, so they created a new category: Lanier High School succesfully set the new Guiness World Records title for "Most Tamales Made in a 12-hour Period."

Watch the video of the award announcement below. You can also watch our video and see photos from the tamalada here - NOWCastSA helped document the event as part of Lanier's Guiness World Records application.

Lanier students didn't just hold a tamalada to set records - the event was a school-wide learning project too.  According to a SAISD press release:

  • Business and Finance Magnet students prepared a business plan, designed a flier, created all the forms for calculated information to submit to Guinness, created a caricature for publicity, weighed all the completed tamales, translated all individual pound measures to grams.
  • Culinary Arts students measured all ingredients, cooked and prepared tamales for assembling.  They also taught the more than 1,300 participants who came to help make the tamales.
  • Spanish classes/students received a lesson in culture, along with hearing stories of traditional tamaladas from older residents who had come to help.
  • All students -- including those from elementary and middle feeder schools -- learned what goes into a tamal and how to prepare tamales for steaming.
  • Students learned to speak to media through interviews and by an appearance on a morning TV show.


Other fun fact - The world record for the longest tamale was set by El Chico Cafe in Jackson, Tennessee in 2006. It was 51 feet 9 inches long.

Other San Antonio World Records include: