Mexican Food > Tamales
Tamales have been enjoyed in Mexico for hundreds of years and are now a beloved staple in Mexican cuisine. Tamales are made by combining corn dough with other ingredients like meats, cheeses, vegetables, spices and sauces. The mixture is then wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and steamed until cooked through. Tamales can be served as a side dish or as the main course of a meal.
The great thing about tamales is that they can be filled with whatever ingredients you want to make it uniquely yours. You might find them stuffed with chicken and cheese, beef and chiles, or even fruit fillings like mango-pineapple! They can also be sweet or savory depending on how you choose to prepare them.
History of tamales
The history of this tasty treat is as diverse and rich as its flavors. Tamales have been around for thousands of years, making them one of the oldest prepared foods in the world.
The origins of tamales can be traced back to ancient Mesoamerican cultures such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas. The first known recipes date back as far as 8,000 BCE! Back then, these delicious treats were made from corn dough filled with meat or vegetables and then wrapped in either corn husks or banana leaves before being cooked over an open fire or in hot ashes.
Today, tamales are still famous throughout Latin America – each region has a unique version that varies in ingredients and cooking methods.
How to make tamales
To make tamales, you’ll need masa, or corn dough, for the outside and filling of your choice to go inside. Here’s an easy guide on how to make tamales:
First, begin by preparing your filling of choice – chicken, pork, beef, or vegetables are all great options! Make sure the filling is cooked ahead of time before starting the assembling process.
Next, you’ll want to prepare the masa by combining it with vegetable shortening, broth, and salt until thoroughly combined; this will serve as your dough wrapper for the tamale. Finally comes assembly! Take a small portion of the masa mixture and spread it onto a banana leaf using your hands until it’s flat and thin.
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