All About Tamales

Published on January 7, 2022

It goes without saying that we’re big fans of portable food, but have you heard of Tamales? This traditional dish is very different from our burritos, but offers a unique experience with both their preparation and flavour options. We’re taking a look at how this communal dish is made.

What are Tamales?
Tamales are a dish made with a corn-based dough – called masa – that can be mixed with meats, beans or cheeses. They are wrapped and cooked in corn husks but unlike our burritos, the husks are removed before eating.

How are Tamales Made?
Making tamales is a labour of love and is an especially fun activity when done with a group of people!

Firstly, the corn husks are soaked in hot water until they become softened and pliable for rolling.

The next step Is to make the masa dough, which when made in the traditional way, requires mixing the masa with broth and lard. The dough is spread along the softened corn husks as the first layer.

Next up is the filling, which can be made with meat, beans, veggies, cheese, or a mix of everything! The filling is highly customizable and can be made to appeal to a variety of tastes. The filing is then mixed with sauce, such as red or green salsa, enchilada, sauce, or mole. A scoop of this is added on top of the masa dough layer.

The last step of assembly is folding one end to enclose it and roll it up like a small burrito. It can then be tied with a skinny strip of corn husk or baking string. One tamale down, many more to go!

Once they’ve all been assembled, the tamales can be steamed on the stove top or using other cooking methods.

How are Tamales Served?
Carefully unwrap and add toppings and sides of your choosing. They can be served with salsa, guacamole, rice or salad. They happen to freeze and reheat well, making them particularly great to have on hand for busy nights.