Culture

You May Know Them As Tamales, But In These Countries They’re Known As Something Else

The holidays are still about a month away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about tamales. And the best part is that there is way more than just one type of tamal you can enjoy.

Check out how these tamales are made differently in these Latin American countries. 

1. Oaxaca, México

CREDIT: LOS TAMALES OAXAQUEÑOS / FACEBOOK

Rather than being wrapped in corn husks, tamales Oaxaqueños are wrapped in banana leaves. As pictured above, they are a bit larger in size and are stuffed with chicken and mole negro.

2. Michoacán, México

CREDIT: MOYEJASBAR / YOUTUBE

In Michoacán, México, these tamales are known as corundas. They are wrapped in green corn plant leaves and are much smaller in size. Usually they don’t contain any sort of filling, so the flavor comes from the masa.

This is what corundas Michoacanas look like:

CREDIT: VISIT SAHUAYO / FACEBOOK

*Drooling*

3. Puerto Rico

CREDIT: BORIKEN RESTAURANT / I LOVE BEING PUERTO RICAN / FACEBOOK

In Puerto Rico, these tamales are referred to as pasteles. Similar to tamales Oaxaqueños, they are wrapped in banana leaves. These pasteles are prepared with different fillings, including pork, beef, chicken and vegetables.

4. Guatemala

CREDIT: DISCOVER GUATEMALA / PAULA ANTONIA PINEDA / FACEBOOK

Tamales Guatemaltecos are referred to as paches or chuchitos. As you can see by the color of the masa in the picture above, what makes these tamales unique is the sauce that is used to make them, called recado. In some stores you can find this sauce already prepared, but to make it at home, you need chiles, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, sesames seeds and other spices based on your preference. These paches or chuchitos can be stuffed with chicken, pork, raisins or peppers.

5. Colombia

CREDIT: JARMA DAGER / FACEBOOK

This specific style of tamales in Colombia are known as bollos. There are different styles of bollos you can prepare, including bollos de queso, bollos de angelito, bollos de yuca and bollos de mazorca.

6. Belize

CREDIT: @KIMCANTEVEN / INSTAGRAM / @MR_COOLBEEZE619 / TWITTER

Tamales are referred to differently depending on which region of Belize you’re in. In the western part of Belize they’re usually referred to as ‘bollos,’ whereas in Corozal, a city near the border of Belize and Mexico, they’re referred to as tamalitos. Bollos are wrapped in plantain leaves, whereas tamalitos are wrapped in corn husks. These Belizean tamales are filled with either chicken, pork, vegetables, or if they’re made with sugar, they don’t include any filling.

7. Nicaragua

CREDIT: FOOD FOR THE SOUL / ESTAR BIEN SALUD / FACEBOOK

In Nicaragua, you would refer to tamales as nacatamales. These nacatamales are wrapped in plantain leaves, which is why they turn out larger in size. As shown in the photos above, they are filled with rice, potato, tomato, onions, bell peppers, olives and chile.

8. Honduras

CREDIT: CARMEN DURON / JUAN NUNEZ / FACEBOOK

In Honduras, this dish is also referred to as nacatamales. What makes these nacatamales Hondureños different from other tamales is the filling. They are stuffed with rice, peas, olives, potatoes and raisins.

9. Chile

CREDIT: @CONYROCKETS / INSTAGRAM / RON DU / FACEBOOK

In Chile, these tamales are known as humitas. They are wrapped with corn leaves and are commonly seasoned with basil. Since these humitas are not filled with meat, the main focus is the sweet, starchy taste of the freshly prepared corn masa. As shown above, humitas are sometimes topped with pieces of onion and tomato.

And now I can’t wait to have my abuela’s tamales in November and December. ?


READ: Here Are 13 Antojitos People Bring Back After Traveling To Colombia


How does your family prepare tamales? Tell us in the comments and hit the share button below! 

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Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

Culture

Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

I can literally talk food until my babas drip. Don’t judge. The comelón life chose me and I’m not mad at it. Because growing up Latino meant breakfast wasn’t always cereal, and dinner wasn’t always mac and cheese. I grew up con más sabor en mis platillos than most Americans. And, at the time, I didn’t even realize that many of the foods my family was trying to get me to eat were ancestral foods. From chocolate to cocoa and chia to nopalitos, I blame los ancestros for my obsession with food and all the glorious ingredients that have been passed down for generations.

My knees already feel weak, fam, because today I’m gonna be talking nopalitos. Ya me estoy chupando los dedos, thinking back to how I grew up with these babies always in the refri in that Nopalitos jar, ready to be thrown into a sauce or encima de una carne asada. It turns out this soul-feeding food is one of the OG ancestral foods that have been used by our people for thousands of years. Ahí les va un poco de historia:

The Mexica introduced the world to the “fruit of the Earth.”

In Náhuatl, the word for nopal translates to “fruit of the Earth.” I don’t know what the Náhuatl word for “bomb-delicioso” is, but in my opinion, that should also be the name for nopales. And the Aztecs must have felt this way too because one of the most famous cities in the Aztec Empire – Tenochtitlán, the empire’s religious center – was named “prickly pear on a rock.” Iconic.

According to legend, the city was built after an Azteca priest spotted an eagle perched on a nopal plant, carrying a snake in its mouth. The priest, obviously extremadamente blown away by this, ran back to his village just so he could gather everyone to check out this crazy eagle with a snake in its mouth. As they watched, the cactus beneath the eagle grew into an island – eventually becoming Tenochtitlán. I’ll give you 3 seconds to just process that. 1…2…3. Please take more time if you need it. The image of the eagle carrying a snake, its golden talons perched on a nopal growing from a rock, can now be found on the Mexican flag.

Today, we know that the Mexica were right to call nopales the plant of life.

In Mexico, it’s still common to place a handful of nopal flowers in a bath to help relax achy muscles. And nopales are becoming more popular than ever in beauty treatments to help fight aging. But, y’all are too beautiful to be needing them for that, so let’s talk about what’s important — eating them.

There are so many ways you can mix this iconic ingredient into your meals.

We should all be eating our green foods. Your tía, your abuela, your primo, everyone…except your ex. Your ex can eat basura. I said what I said. But, nopalitos are especially important. These tenacious desert plants can be eaten raw, sautéed, pickled, grilled – they’re even used as pizza toppings. Though for some people, nopales – with their spines and texture – can be intimidating. After cutting off the spines and edges, and cutting them into slices, they will bleed a clear slime. But boiling for 20 minutes will take care of that. Or make it even easier on yourself and avoid espinas by buying them all ready-to-go from the brand we all know and love, DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos.

Check it out, I’m even gonna hook it up with that good-good, because if you’re looking for ways to enjoy your nopales, I got’chu with some starter links to recipes: Hibiscus and Nopal Tacos, Nopal Tostadas, Roasted Nopales con Mole, and Lentil Soup con Nopales.  One of my personal favorite ways to eat them is in a beautiful Cactus Salad, full of color and flavor. Trust. I rate these dishes 10 out of 10, guaranteed to make your babas drip, and when you eat this ensalada de nopalitos, you will remember even your ancestors were dripping babas over this waaay before it was cool to eat plant-based foods.

So let’s give the poderoso nopal the spotlight it deserves by adding it to our shopping lists more often.

Rich in history, mythology, and practical uses, the nopal’s enduring popularity is a testament to its versatility. It’s time to give this classic ingredient the respect it deserves and recognize just how chingon our ancestors are for making nopales fire before plantbase foods were even trending.

Next time you’re at the supermercado, do your ancestors proud and add nopales to your shopping cart by picking up a jar of DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos. This easy-to-use food will definitely give you a major boost of pride in your roots. Viva los nopalitos bay-beh!

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Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Entertainment

Spanish Voiceover Actress For Jessie From Pokémon Dies And Fans Mourn

Pokémon fans in Latin America are mourning the death of Diana Pérez, the Spanish-language voice of Jessie of Pokémon’s Team Rocket. The voice actress has been voicing the character since 1997.

Diana Pérez, the voice actress of Team Rocket’s Jessie, died at 51.

Lalo Garza, a famed voice actor in Mexico, confirmed the death of the Pokémon voice actress.

“Rest in peace Diana Pérez, a strong, cultured, intelligent, and very talented woman. You are good now, friend. Nothing hurts anymore. Have a good trip,” reads the tweet.

Pérez has been a staple in the Spanish-language Pokémon fandom for decades.

Pérez was more than just he voice of Jessie. The voice actress was the voice of multiple anime characters including Luffy in One Piece and Kagura in Inuyasha. In recent years, Pérez had started branching out to directing, producing, and other branches in the entertainment industry.

Pérez’s death is being mourned by Pokémon fans outside of the Spanish-language fandom.

Sarah Natochenny is the English voice of Ash Ketchum in the Pokémon series, Jessie’s mortal enemy. The death of Pérez has impacted the larger Pokémon community. Pérez was a pivotal part of the Latin American Pokémon community for decades and her loss has devastated fans.

Descansa en paz, Diana.

There have been no plans announced for a replacement to voice Team Rocket’s Jessie. No official cause of death has been released either. Our hearts and thoughts go out to Pérez’s family and the greater Pokémon community mourning her passing.

READ: I Was Today Years Old When I Found Out This Mexican Pokémon

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