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Fusion Of Flavors On Thanksgiving


 Thanksgiving is the American holiday that centers around gratitude.  America abounds in resources and freedom. People from all over the world have come to America with their cultural traditions and ingenuity and made a way for themselves. Appreciation and diversity are a beautiful garland on Thanksgiving day. Thanksgiving feasts are infused with delicious ethnic flavors and traditional American dishes. It is the American way.
It might be said that food makes the world go round, giving us the nutrition our bodies need and it helps provide that social connection we crave.  It's through food that we link with others, sharing our flavors and traditions. It is fantastic that through migration and technology, the same essential spices and herbs like cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, coriander, cilantro, ginger, paprika cloves, cinnamon, onion, bay leaf, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and more,  can be found almost anywhere in the world, with different delicious results. 

Essential Spices and Diversity

Many kitchens have these essential spices and are used quite regularly, yet depending on ethnicity and culture, the dishes will be very distinct. Mexican food is aromatic,spicy, tangy and yummy. Indian food is savory with a dominating sweet and spicy pungent punch. These are two very different ethnic cuisines that use similar essential spices.
Mexican dishes such as yummy Mexican picadillo, which is ground beef mixed and cooked with these essential spices: cumin, bay leaf and coriander. The strong spice in this dish is cumin, but  combined with bayleaf and other ingredients, the flavors mingle and this simple dish satisfies a hungry soul. The Indian dish called Beef Keema Curry, also has cumin in it, however, it is not the dominating flavor or aroma. The stronger or equally strong spices of clove, cinnamon and chiles are added to the mix and their sweet spicy blend creates a wonderful aroma and flavor. Both of these ground beef dishes would make delicious  fillings for authentic savory tamales, which are in many homes part of the Thanksgiving meal. 

Tamales Around The World

Tamales are one of those long standing Mexican dishes created from corn that have made their way around the world. Innovative cooks in their native lands take fresh corn, ground it into a paste and fuse their native ingredients to create their own regional version of tamales.

  • In South America you’ll find “Humitas” made from fresh corn. Corn is cooked, pounded into a paste, and made into a seasoned batter, then wrapped in corn husks and steamed.
  • In South Africa you’ll find Koki Corn. This is also ground corn, seasoned and wrapped in banana leaves, then steamed over a bed of corn on the cob in water. 
  • In the Philippines you’ll find Filipino Tamales. These are said to be a copycat version of  authentic Mexican tamales, except that available local ingredients are used. Corn flour is replaced with rice flour and corn husks with banana leaves. A Filipino tamale is filled with regional ingredients to make sweet, savory  or sweet and savory tamales. 
  • In the good ole U.S.A. you’ll find Delta tamales, which are the Southern American version of tamales derived from the original Mexican style tamales. These traditional  tamales made their way across the border and trickled into the South. Delta hot tamales are made with cornmeal and spicy pork. They are simmered instead of steamed so that a tasty sauce forms from the juices of the tamales. 
  • Also in America are the delicious Texas style tamales. These are authentic Mexican tamales that are made with just the right ratio of masa to filling. 

Fusion Flavors at Thanksgiving

Tamales migrated out of Mesoamerica and circled the globe leaving traces of their original version everywhere they went. Here in America we have easy access to all the diverse variations of tamales that began with the original Mexican tamales. Many Thanksgiving feasts will include their ethnic choices. A yummy roasted turkey and delicious savory tamales, surrounded by a wide variety of sides, are  just one example of a mouthwatering fusion of flavors. 

Thanksgiving dinner is just not Thanksgiving dinner without pumpkin pie. The epitome of diversity and flavor fusion is a creamy pumpkin tamale. This yummy dessert joins traditional pumpkin pie and cream cheese with tasty smooth masa. It is a sweet Thanksgiving Celebration, a reminder of diversity in America.

Texas Lone Star Tamales is very grateful for prosperity and abounding blessings. On behalf of the Texas Lone Star Tamales, have a happy and safe Thanksgiving. 

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