A good tamale knows no season—the masa packages taste just as delicious on a spring day as they do on a snowy evening—which is why we keep our freezer stocked with goods from the Tamale Connection.

Sixteen years ago, Wayne and Leisa Garcia began making tamales as Christmas presents. Then the requests started pouring in, so they opened a factory in Antonito, near the south end of the San Luis Valley. Today, their business is a thriving cottage industry with delicious tamales, burritos, and casseroles available at all Tony’s Markets.

Their handmade, mildly spicy tamales are made with a specially ground masa harina, as well as chicken, pork, and beef that are hormone- and antibiotic-free. Available in both red and green chile varieties, they can be baked, steamed, or microwaved, moving from freezer to the dinner table in just five minutes.

Tip: For a double dose of fire, heat up a jar of Nanita’s Finest New Mexican-style green-chile sauce, which is crafted from an old family recipe.

Tamale Connection, 217 Main St., Antonito, 719-376-5949

Nanita’s Finest, 1401 W. Elizabeth St., Fort Collins, 970-221-5931

Tony’s Market, multiple locations