LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The kitchen is bustling at Tamales Liliana’s in East Los Angeles – a scene typical the week before Christmas.
But unfortunately it’s a tradition that will look different in so many households this holiday season.
Ricardo Gonzales says Christmas at his home is usually packed with up to 50 people making tamales – but not this year.
“Just my close family, maybe four of us,” he said.
The CDC is recommending against large gatherings this holiday to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and tamale sales are suffering.
Sales normally skyrocket between Christmas and New Year’s, and while the restaurant doesn’t know how many people will show up this year, they’re building a special area for people to stand in line come next week.
“They’re not buying as much as they used to,” said manager Manny Bernal. “So for instance say a family would usually buy four to five dozen, now they’re looking at anywhere between one dozen to a dozen and a half.”
The East L.A. staple, which has been selling tamales for 30 years, normally does big business this time of year.
Magaly Colleli is noticing a similar struggle at her tamale restaurant in San Fernando.
She says some customers are holding off with orders, while others are trying to figure out if they will be able to get together with the family.
“Every day something new is happening and we have to figure things out as we go,” said Colleli.