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! 

The Top 12 Salsas From Across Latin America, Ranked

Culture

The Top 12 Salsas From Across Latin America, Ranked

Jackie_testet / Instagram

Hot sauce has been a kitchen table staple for Latinos for thousands of years. The Aztecs pretty much invented it. We put it on eggs, on snacks, on meat….you probably have that person in your life who would put it on their finest cardboard and eat it up, the stuff is so popular. Anything that brings vegans and carnivores together at the dinner table deserves to be celebrated. Enjoy this roundup of hot sauces from all over Latin America to try out with your next meal.

1. Mexico: Cholula

Credit: cholulahotsauce/ Instagram

Made in Chapala, Jalisco, the sauce is made with a blend of piquín and arbol chiles. It’s often put up against Tapatio on American restaurant tables in a Coke vs. Pepsi level battle of the condiments. But we know there’s room for both. However, if you’re really dedicated, you might be able to join the Order of Cholula for exclusive offers.

2. Belize: Marie Sharp

Credit: jackie_testtet / Instagram

Made in Stann Creek, Belize, Marie Sharp started her line of hot sauces in her kitchen where she experimented with blends of Habanero peppers and jams and jellies made from fruits and vegetables picked from her farm. The brand has long outgrown the kitchen and went international. We stan an entrepeneurial queen.

3. Costa Rica: Banquete Chilero

Credit: hunter_t_morris / Instagram

This thicker sauce from Costa Rica gets its flavor from habanero peppers and carrots. Some might compare it to an asian sweet and sour sauce.

4. Guatemala: Picama’s Salsa Brava

Credit: beambeeaam/ Instagram

This mild, green sauce has a ketchup-like consistency and is made with serrano peppers. The color is straight up neon, but some people swear by it, stocking up on bottles when they visit Guatemala. Also, don’t you love when an abuela comes through like this?

5. Honduras: D’Olanchano

Credit: @OldJersey / Twitter

This hot sauce uses Tabasco peppers grown in the Olancho valley and later aged in wooden barrels to acquire its taste.

6. Nicaragua: Chilango

Credit: libertadjustica19 / Instagram

Chilango Chile sources their ingredients from all over the world to create unique flavors in their line of hot sauces. The Cabro Consteño is made with the Nicaraguan yellow “goat” pepper grown on the Atlantic coast. The Habanero Chocolate gets its name from the dark, brown pepper it uses for flavor. It doesn’t actually have chocolate in it – whether that relieves or distresses you.

7. Panama: D’Elidas

Credit: south side art / Instagram

This yellow is made with Habanero peppers, mustard, and vinegar. Hot sauce lovers report getting a lot of that mustard taste in the sauce, so adjust expectations accordingly. People are known to fill up their suitcases with bottles before leaving Panama.

8. Brazil: Mendez Hot Sauce

Credit: splikityspic / Instagram

Mendez Hot Sauce is a brand out of Central Brazil where creator, Rafael Mendez strives for sustainable business practices that help his community. The sauce uses the locally sourced Malagueta pepper which creates work for local farming families, lifting many of them out of poverty.

9. Chile: Diaguitas

Credit: lutecastro / Instagram

Diaguitas is the most popular hot sauce in Chile, coming in a few flavors. It’s light on ingredients, letting the peppers speak for themselves. It’s salty, so handle with care to balance that taste out on your food.

10. Colombia: Amazon Pepper Sauce

Credit: lutecastro / Instagram

This brand uses a variety of Amazon peppers that grow at the edge of the rainforest in the Andes Cauca Valley. They blend the chilis with other tropical ingredients. They have a mild flavor that stands out made with guava. 

11. Ecuador: Ole

Credit: serieroom700 / Instagram

Ole carries a few different flavors, but it always goes back to the ingredients to make a hot sauce unique to the region it comes from. Ole uses the tena pepper which only grows in Ecuador. They have it on its own where you get the fruit taste with a lash of heat. They also put it in their Tamarillo sauce which couples the tena with the fruit from the pepper tomato tree.

12. Peru: Salsa de Aji Amarillo

Credit: PeruChef.com

What’s actually the most popular thing to do in Peru is to just make your own hot sauces. However, sometimes you can find bottled sauces that will satisfy the craving. The Peru Chef makes one with the aji amarillo pepper which has a subtle sweetness to it and is a cornerstone of Peruvian cuisine.

Of course, there are many hot sauces from all over Latin America that you’ll simply have to travel for if you want the best like Llajwa sauce from Bolivia. You could also probably stay home and get some bomb green sauce from King Taco.

Here’s Why Activists And Parents Are Upset About A New Weight Loss App For Children

Culture

Here’s Why Activists And Parents Are Upset About A New Weight Loss App For Children

This week, WW, the ridiculously rebranded name for weight loss company Weight Watchers, proved that despite its new designation, the global brand is offering more of the same problematic trash to the world — this time, directed at children in particular.

On Tuesday, WW launched Kurbo, a nutrition and weight loss app for kids between the ages of 8 and 17 years old.

Not surprisingly health experts are furious about the danger it could pose to the physical and mental health of our young people.

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“You NEED to Shut. This. Down,” Whitney Fisch, a social worker, school counselor and mom of three, wrote Wednesday on Facebook. “All bodies, especially growing + developing bodies, deserve respect + the ability to grow into whatever shape they’re meant to grow to be.”

The company describes the app, which is free, as a “scientifically-proven behavior change program designed to help kids and teens age 8-17 reach a healthier weight” that was acquired from Stanford University’s Pediatric Weight Control Program. It uses a traffic light system to instruct youth on foods that they should eat and those that they should avoid. Kids are urged to eat plenty of “green light” foods, including fruits and vegetables, to be “mindful” of their portions of “yellow light” foods, like lean protein, whole grains and dairy, and to lessen their intake of “red light” foods, such as sugary drinks and “treats.” The app also encourages users to track their daily physical activity and deep breathing.

With a paid, subscription-based plan, children can also receive through the app one-on-one sessions with coaches that are supposed to be experts in nutrition, exercise, and mental health. However, the Huffington Post reports that these coaches do not need to have any credentials in health or nutrition fields; though they do go through a minimum of six to eight hours of initial training.

Eating disorder treatment experts are concerned about the impact an app like Kurbo could have on a young person’s mental health, self-esteem and eating habits.

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“While the intention of the app is to promote health and wellness, there is the risk that it could do more harm than good,” Kathryn Argento, a registered dietician with The Renfrew Center, a national network of eating disorder treatment centers for women and girls, told the Huffington Post. “Targeting kids as young as 8 years old to focus on … their bodies can lead to an intense preoccupation with food, size, shape and weight.”

Aside from the damaging impact apps like this one can have on a children’s relationship with their bodies and food, public health organizations and pediatricians also doubt the efficacy of children’s weight loss programs altogether.

“The evidence suggests that these types of tools may be helpful adjuncts to weight management, but there are few studies in pediatrics to confirm that they lead to a ‘meaningful change in their weight trajectories,’” Dr. Ihuoma Eneli, director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, told the news outlet.

As part of WW’s rebranding, the company and app have chosen to start focusing on overall health and wellness in addition to weight loss.

According to Gary Foster, chief scientific officer at WW, Kurbo “isn’t a weight loss app.”

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“This is an app that teaches in a game-ified, fun, engaging way what are the basics of a healthy eating pattern,” he told the Huffington Post.

But parents still worry the app could be spreading an all-too-familiar message that they are unworthy as they are and must change their physical appearance to be accepted. While young people already receive these memos from a diet-obsessed mass media, parents fear that unrealistic beauty ideals are now being pushed on impressionable children in the name of health and wellness.

In response to these apprehensions, Foster said: “I think there could be some misperception that somehow we’re saying, ‘All kids should lose weight, you’re not OK as you are.’ What we’re saying to kids who are trying to achieve a healthier weight — kids and families — is that this is a reasonable, sensible way to do it.”

But despite this alleged kid-friendly wellness mission, Kurbo’s website sends another message.

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Its landing page shows young people’s “success stories,” and they’re celebrating weight loss, not how often they meditate or how many ounces of water they drink daily.

“There’s no way that these kids don’t realize that the app is supposed to help them lose weight,” Ginny Jones, an eating disorder recovery activist, said. “No matter how hard it tries to market itself as a wellness company, WW is about weight loss. Kids are way smarter than we think they are, and every ‘big kid’ who [has been] put on a weight loss program knew exactly what their parents were trying to do.”

Read: She Shared Stories Of Being Fat-Shamed At The Doctor And Fear Of Wearing A Two-Piece Then, Jessica Torres Accidentally Built One Of The Biggest Body Positive Communities

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