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10 Interesting Facts About Tamales

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Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish that has remained popular throughout the American Southwest in the areas that used to be Mexico prior to 1848. It’s in this part of the country that you’ll find savvy, passionate tamale connoisseurs. However, at Texas Lone Star Tamales, we want to make sure that everyone in the whole country has access to delicious, authentic-style tamales. That’s why we sell and ship some of the best tamales on this side of the Rio Grande.

If you love tamales — which let’s face it, you probably do — then you’ll love Texas Lone Star Tamales. But what you’ll love even more is in today’s blog post which uncovers 10 interesting facts about tamales that every tamale-loving American should — no, needs — to know. Read on to get the fun tamale education you can share with your friends and family the next time you all gather together to enjoy a tasty tray of tamales.

To fill that tray with those tamales, save yourself the time and hassle of making them by ordering your tamales online from Texas Lone Star Tamales.

Fact 1: Origin of the Name

The origin of the word “tamale” is believed to come from the ancient Aztec word “tamalli,” which is believed to have meant “wrapped.” This would make sense as tamales are almost always wrapped and cooked in leaves or cornhusks.

Fact 2: Types of Tamales

While most people have a pretty concrete idea of what a tamale is — see fact number three — there are actually estimated to be more than 500 different regional and cultural variations on the “classic” tamale.

Fact 3: The Common Tamale

All tamales have a few things in common. All tamales are made with corn dough and lard, are wrapped in some kind of protective outer layer — usually, banana leaves or cornhusks — and are then steamed until hot.

Fact 4: Tamales in Time

There is ample evidence that the tamale has been a South American culinary tradition for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Archeologists and anthropologists both cite evidence of tamale cooking in the Olmec, Maya, and Aztec empires.

Fact 5: The Holiday Food

Historically, tamales were likely eaten as a part of cultural holiday traditions including for celebrations of life and death as well as for other religious holidays. Even today, birthday tamales and Christmas tamales are deep-rooted parts of many family traditions.

Fact 6: A Versatile Dish

If you visit Mexico, you shouldn’t be surprised to find tamales on the menu at any time of day. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all considered to be the right time for enjoying a tamale.

Fact 7: Tamale-making Quotas

From an outside perspective, the tamale seems like a pretty simple kind of food. However, making tamales is a time-consuming labor of love. Ask any regular tamale-maker and they will tell you that making any less than a few dozen just isn’t worth the time.

Fact 8: The Uncommon Tamale

Although tamales all virtually have the same few ingredients, there are some examples of unique styles of tamales out there. For instance, in Oaxaca, traditional tamales are made with a mole negro sauce, and locals also a style of tamale made with iguana meat.

Fact 9: The Titan of Tamales

In the Huasteca region of Mexico, a cultural sub-group called the Huastecas make tamales for community events that can be up to 10 feet long and weigh more than 100 pounds.

Fact 10: Birthday Tamales

In some areas, tamales are cooked with sugar instead of salt and have raisins, jam, or fruit added to make a tasty treat that is served for birthday parties.

Get Your Tamales From Texas Lone Star Tamales Today

Here’s one more fact for you — you’re going to love the tamales made at Texas Lone Star Tamales. Get your chicken tamales, pork tamales, vegetable tamales, or traditional beef tamales online today.