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Mexican Restaurants Share The Variety and History of the Tasty Tamales

If you eat Mexican food, you’re probably familiar with tamales, but you might not know just how versatile this dish can be. You also may not know that tamales are considered a festive food and are often prepared for holidays and other special occasions. Sometimes, entire families will work together to make a batch of tamales in a gathering called a tamalada for an important event.

Ancient History

Many Mexican food items have a long history, but it is believed that tamales go back as far as 7000 B.C. For Aztec warriors, tamales were easy to carry into battle because they were portable.

Originally cooked by being buried in ash, tamales were later steamed uncovered in pots. If tamales stuck to the bottom of the pot, it was believed to be good luck.

Regional Differences

The ingredients in tamales differ throughout South and Central America, but even within Mexico, tamales may have many different types of wrappers and fillings.

In the Mexican state of Michoacan, tamales do not have fillings at all. They are wrapped in corn leaves. Oaxaca tamales are large while those from Monterrey are small. In the city of Culiacan, tamales are made with pineapple, beans and beans.

Tex-Mex and Tamales

Tamales made their way to the United States via women at ranches in Mexico and the Southwest preparing them for holidays. Tamales were favored as holiday fare for many of the same reasons Aztecs liked them as battle food: They are easily stored and are portable. Today, spicy pork is a popular filling in Tex-Mex tamales.

Of course, nothing beats the authentic taste of the Mexican tamales. You can visit an authentic Mexican restaurant for a helping of that tasty tamales, Mexican-style.

Sources:

Making Mexican Tamales, hispanic-culture-online.com

Pride And Prejudice: For Latinos, Tamales Can Taste Of Both, www.npr.org

The History Behind Tamales, theaustintimes.com

Tamales For Christmas Are A True Texas Tradition, www.npr.org

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