Tamales is a Mesoamerican dish and widely consumed all throughout Latin America. One of the traditional meals in Guatemala is the well-known Tamales. Throughout country, there are different varieties of tamales and since most of the traditional dishes in Guatemala feature corn, beans and chili as key ingredients, Tamales are no excuse. One dish, different variants, one flavorful culture: Tamales of Guatemala.
The delicious tamales are cooked “masa” or dough (corn, potatoes or rice), usually stuffed either with meat, nuts, beans, fruits or simply plain “masa”. Tamales are wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks and requires a significant amount of work to prepare. In Guatemala, the varieties of tamales you can choose from are the following.
- Tamales de elote (sweet corn tamales): Types of tamale which is made of sweet corn dough and may contain corn kernel and do not generally contain any meat.
- Paches: a simple variety of tamale, replacing corn with potatoes as the main dough.
- Chuchitos: common type of Guatemalan tamales using corn masa as regular tamale but smaller and firmer in consistency. Wrapped in corn husk (tuza) and often served with simple tomato salsa topped with salty white cheese. Chuchitos are very common and usually served at luncheons, dinner or celebrations.
- Tamales colorados: Using tomato and achiote (annatto seed) giving them the red color to this type of tamale. Stuffed with red bell pepper strip, capers, tomato recado (a flavorful thick sauce) and meat (chicken, beef or pork).
- Tamales de masa: a smaller type of tamale with no fillings on it. This type of tamale is often dip in to other foods such as soup, salsa or beans, rather than eaten alone.
- Tamalitos de chipilin or loroco: other variants of “tamales de masa” with additional ingredients to the mix such as the chipilin or loroco.