Local food enjoyed by a single man exploring the world at human speed.
Front Page Articles World About Me Cause FAQ/Contact Other Sites
You are not logged in to access all the features. Login or Register - First time here? There's a special page for you!

In this section...

 Articles Search 
 Articles by Date 
 Articles by Keyword 
 Articles by Location 
Share this page


Tamales
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2014-02-28 17:00:56 | Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
Keywords: masa, traditional
Popular Mexican gastronomy revolves around three simple dishes: tacos, tortas and tamales. I already presented you the first two, now that I'm in Southern Mexico, where it's most popular, I'll tell you a bit about the tamales (singular is tamal). That traditional dish has been eaten in Mexico territory for more than 2 000 years, with very little variation compared to the original recipe.

The are two major variants of the tamales preparation, which I will call the Central way and the Southern way. The Central way (used in the North as well) cooks the tamales within corn leaves, while the Southern (Oaxaca, Guerrero, Yucatán, Chiapas, Veracruz and Tabasco states) way wraps them in banana leaves. The difference is due due to the local culture in place. They slightly differ in appearance since the ones cooked in corn leaves are usually shaped like a corn cob (that's normal to adapt to the wrapping), while the ones cooked in banana leaves are usually square because of the folding of the thick leaves.


Tamal in corn leaves


But inside the leaves, you'll find essentially the same thing: masa paste with a filling. The masa is dried corn grains that has been cooked in limewater and soaked overnight, in order to separate more easily all the components (like the skin). It's then pressed into a paste. Once you reached a coarse consistency you add lard and spices to get the masa for the tamales. If you were doing masa for tortillas, you would be continue grinding until a smooth consistency, without adding anything to the paste. The masa for tamales yields a softer and lighter taste which remains close to a paste texture even once cooked.

The masa paste is shaped by hand to include a filling before being wrapped in the leaves (corn or banana) and being boiled or steamed. The filling can be virtually anything, sweet or salty. It's been documented there a few thousands varieties of tamales. The meat tamales (usually with stewed chicken, beef or pork) are often eaten as meals (many tamales per order). A tamal usually weights around 100 or 150 grams. The vegetables and fruits ones are also very popular. I had one with 'new corn'... it was extremely sweet.


Tamal in banana leaves


Mexicans refer to the trilogy of tacos, tortas and tamales as their vitamin T, since it's the basis of their alimentation. All three dishes are usually found in the street... where many people eat. Out of the three, tamales are my least favorite, but that's a personal preference. I find them too high in carbs and too low in proteins. Tacos are my #1 choice.


Popular Mexican food trilogy


Related posts:
Empanadas de verde
Guatita
Gelatina
Empanadas
Rice Paisa

Comments



In order to leave your comment, you need to be logged in.
Please go to the Log-in / Registration page.
Front Page
Login/Register
Edit Profile
Terms of Services
Privacy Policy
Articles
Articles Search
Articles by Date
Articles by Keyword
Articles by Location
World
Before this trip
This trip so far
This trip - next stops
About Me
Support Me
Contact
Cause
UNESCO
Heritage sites
Support Cause
FAQ/Contact
FAQ
Contact
Site Map
Other Sites
HoboDiary.com
HoboVisits.com
HoboPath.com
HoboThoughts.com
HoboEats.com
HoboCards.com
© 2019, HoboEats.com