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
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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:
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3. Puerto Rico
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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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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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. 😍