Tamales are the first lunchbox style food and were originally consumed by ancient Aztec warriors during their travels. Ingredients are placed inside a pocket of corn dough (masa) which are then wrapped in corn leaf or plantain leaf and steamed or boiled to perfection. Tamales are popular during holidays, when families collaborate in making these wrapped delicacies.
The Colombian Tamales in the first two pics were purchased at Los Toldos, a cozy Mom and Pop restaurant in Queens, NY on Northern blvd and 84th street.
Depending on the region, you will see differences in size, texture and ingredients.
- Brazilian Pamonhas are mostly filled with cheese, sausage and peppers
- Peruvian, Bolivian & Chilean Humintas are usually made with cheese, raisins and anise seeds
- Filipino Tamales are made with rice dough and filled with chicken and coconut milk
- Venezuelan Hallacas mainly contain meats, onions and peppers
Since my background is Colombian and my girlfriend, Jaquie, is Mexican I decided to put these two Tamal counterparts head to head.
Can fit about 4 Mexican Tamales.
Made with moist and buttery corn dough.
Contain full pieces of pork, peas, carrots, and onions.
Paired with delicious Colombian white rice and spicy cilantro and onion based aji sauce on the side.
These tamales were from our Christmas dinner in El Paso, TX. I'd recommend reheating in the toaster oven for crispy yumminess!
While I wish I could stay true to my Colombian roots, I must admit that I would choose a Mexican tamal if they were both placed in front of me... unless my mom was looking (wink wink).