A Tamale is a traditional Mexican dish made of Masa (a starchy corn based dough), which is steamed in a corn husk. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamale filling varies however, depending on region of the cook, most popular is the meat, vegetable and fruit tamale.
Tamales originated in Meso-America as early as 8000 to 5000 BC. Aztec and Maya civilizations, as well as the Olmeca and Tolteca before them, used tamales as portable food, often to support their armies, but also for hunters and travelers. Tamale use in the Inca Empire had been reported to exist long before the Spanish arrived at the New World.
Today Tamales are served year round. Gourmet Tamales are popping up around town and tamale parties are a community favorite. Traditionally, our family made them after thanksgiving using the left over turkey. They were served as a holiday treat for Christmas and New Year.
Today all the ingredients can be purchased at any Mexican Market, Masa comes pre-made and flavored for you.
Gather some family and friends and give tamales a try.