Eat at Ms. Bertha’s Tamales on the Hummingbird Highway
Driving in any direction on the Hummingbird Highway, it would be hard to miss this white shack surrounded by cars, in a small clearing immediately next to the road under the shade of a very large tree. Ms. Bertha’s Tamales has little signage, but no signs are needed for locals. Everyone knows about Ms. Bertha Lisbey and her tamales. They are said to be the best in Belize. One of her spiced, gooey chicken-and-corn tamales is a perfect break. Pair it with a hot sauce she has been making almost as long as the tamales, and a cold soda in a glass bottle. Since Ms. Bertha is now 75 years old, some days it is her daughter who’s the one serving loyal customers and first-time visitors, drawn by the stories that you’ll hear in every corner of the country. The small shack can serve hundreds of tamales a day during peak season yet each one is prepared with the same attention and love. Everyone sits on benches, patiently waiting their turn. There aren’t many places to stop along the Hummingbird Highway, but that’s not the only reason you shouldn’t pass by Bertha’s without turning in. Make sure you stop.
By Kirsten Alana, AFAR Local Expert
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