Tamales


tamales
Photograph by ©Omar Upegui R.

Tamales is one of the favorite dishes in Panamanian homes.  It is eaten throughout the year, specially during Christmas and New Year.  Without tamales on the table for Christmas Eve and New Year dinner the festivities are incomplete.  At all!

For those of you who are not familiar with this ubiquitous Latin American dish, let me explain that a tamal is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa or dough (starchy, and usually corn-based), which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. The wrapping is discarded before eating.

Tamales can be filled with meats (pork or chicken), vegetables, chiles, or any other preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.  It is a dish preferred by most Latinos South of the Rio Grande, all the way to the Patagonia in Argentina.  However, it is specifically popular in Mexico and Middle America.

For Christmas we had tamales on our table.  They just had to be there, if we were to have a real Christmas Eve dinner.  It is the way it is.  It is the way we were brought up.  For sure, there will be tamales on our dining table for New Year as well.

Good Day!

2 thoughts on “Tamales”

  1. Oh, yum! Tamales are the big thing here for Christmas, too. People like me, who don’t have traditional tamale makers in the family, have our favorite shops or trucks or relatives of friends we turn to to get the wonderful treat. Ours always are in corn. I’ve never had them in banana leaves, which I think this must be. I’ll be they taste as good!

    1. Maybe because you live near the border with Mexico, tamales have creeped into your eating preferences. Aura used to make tamales in the past, but lately we have decided to buy them from a commercial entity close to home. They are first class, let me tall you.

      If you can, Linda,look for tamales prepared in banana leaves. If you taste them, I’ll bet the farm you will never eat tamales not wrapped up in banana leaves. They are that good. Yum-yum-yum-yummy! 🙂

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