What are tamales?

Considering you’re going to be seeing and listening a lot about these buddies I might as well tell you about this delicious food you can’t miss, especially on this time of the year.

Tamales are a mesoamerican dish that originated as early as 8000 to 5000 BC, starting in Mexico and Guatemala and spreading to the rest of Latin America. Tamales were considered sacred by the Aztec, Maya, Olmec and Toltec civilization, they believed it was the food of the gods, that’s why tamales were largely used in their rituals and festivals, although the dish was used for hunting trips and for traveling due to its easy way to transport it.

The world derives from tamalli in Nahuatl that means wrapped, the tamale is made of masa (dough) usually corn based, it is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf, the wrapping is usually put away or if you’re eating it on the street you can use it as a plate. The tamales can be filled with a lot of different ingredients, the most popular are different types of meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables or even chilies, that’s why they can be sweet or salty.

They are usually eaten in festivities like Christmas, the Day of the Dead, Posadas (celebrations during the month of december), Mexican Independence Day and La Candelaria Day. Don’t forget to try the delicious tamales in your next visit, my favorite ones are corn and pork meat!

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