The tamale is perhaps one of the most fascinating and ancient traditional recipe from the mexican food cookbook. What is a tamale? I guess one could relate it
to kind of an Aztec sandwich... It is a fascinating meal by how convenient and delicious it
has always been... since ages ago. The word tamal comes from the aztec language word "tamalli", which means “wrapped bread” or simply "wrapped".
Depending which region of Mexico you buy your tamales, you will notice
how this mexican recipe is versatile. In the center of the country we find
the most traditional; in the states of the north we find the uchepos
wrapped also in corn husks using, however, the sweet corn variety, to those from Oaxaca, which
use banana leaves, etc. The variations on this basic recipe principle can be endless.
Because many pre-comlombian civilizations had their own word for this recipe, all from many unrelated precolumbian languages, the tamal can be refered to
with many different names (such as Zacahuil in Veracruz state).
The tamale is a mexican dish that has evolved to many regional recipes in different countries from South America (Mexico, Central America, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina), although its origin brings us inevitably back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico. It consists basically of corn dough (the masa), made basically of cooked corn flour dough wrapped in corn husks (traditionally in Mexico), and cooked in a steamer. Also known by such names like humita, hallaca, corundas or pastel de choclo, the tamales have their own proper flavour that will make your mind wander back to those sunny countries! The authentic tamales' preparation has evolved much since the beginning and today the dough can be prepared with a large variety of ingredient combinations that give this meal varied flavours.