Mexican Tamales are considered one of Mexico and Central America’s greatest contributions to global cuisine. 9,000 years of social, cultural and religious history wrap this traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa (starchy and corn-based) steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf.
Tamales Banana Leaf
In the Mexican Republic, each region and state has its own way of preparing Tamales, in fact, there are 370 different types of Tamales registered throughout the country. The Oaxacan Tamal is one of them and one of the favourites of Mexicans, they are prepared and eaten in every part of the country. The authentic Oaxacan Tamal is the one wrapped in the banana leaf, traditionally made with corn dough, and as ingredients the black mole, chicken, pork or iguana.
Mexican people celebrate Candlemas Day on February 2nd. It is a religious festivity know as “Día de la Candelaria” during which the figure of Baby Jesus is dressed up. Día de la Candelaria is linked to the tradition of “Día de Reyes” (Three Kings´ Day) when people eat “Rosca the Reyes” (special bread with hidden figurines of Baby Jesuses that is made only for this celebration). So, the person who got the figurine of Baby Jesus while eating Rosca de Reyes has to buy Tamales for their family, friends or Co-workers.
What is Candlemas Day
By the way, February 2nd is celebrated by the Catholic church as the feast of the Purification of the Virgin or as the Presentation of the Lord at the Temple. Though Tamales are special food for Candlemas Day, in Mexico it is one of our favourite street food to eat every day.
Tamales How to Eat
Types of Tamales
In addition to the Oaxacan Tamales, there are other types that can be made.