Entertainment Magazine: Dining: Mexican Food: Green Corn Tamales

Making and Buying Green Corn Tamales

There are tamales, corn tamales, and then there are green corn tamales.

At Christmas time, tamales are a cultural staple. The type of tamales often eaten are called "red tamales," made of shredded beef, red chile and wrapped in a corn husk. Red beef tamales are found all year round and are a popular "hand food" on the run.

Green corn tamales contain whole green chilies. Fillings also include beef or pork. But, just about anything an be added. Tamales can also be made with chicken, pumpkin, squash, or even fruits (sweet tamales dulces). Read more about tamales.

green corn tamale

The tamal

Tamal is the proper name for a single tamale. The base of any good tamale, taco, burrito, burro or chimi is the tortillla. This type of tortilla (pronounced: tor-tee-a) is made from masa.

Masa is basically corn dough. Usually masa is prepared from grounded corn that is heated, soaked, drained and grounded. Depending on the recipe, either water, broth, milk, salt and some type of fats are added for taste.

Tamale History

The history of the tamale is well rooted in Mexico. The tamale was a favorite food long before the arrival of Columbus to Mexico. Tamales are a staple dinner items in both Mexican and American dining tables. In the Southwest, tamales are found in the supermarkets along side frozen chimis, enchiladas and pre-made tacos.

Green Corn Tamales in Tucson, Arizona

Green corn tamales originated in the tradition of Tucson, Arizona Mexican food dining. It is served in nearly every Mexican restaurant in the area. But not all green corn tamales are the same!

Tucson, AZ., located deep in the desert of the Southwest USA, is home to many fine traditional foods. The chimichanga is another exquisite Mexican delicacy developed in Tucson to be covered in another topic.

Some of the most well know Tucson restaurants that sells delicious green corn tamales is Lerua's Fine Mexican Foods on Broadway, Casa Molina and El Dorado Restaurant. Taco stands also carry tasty varieties of the tamale.

Tamales Recipes

Making your own home cooked tamales is easy. The major elements include corn husks can be purchased online or a many local markets), beef or pork, or even chicken. Read recipes to make corn tamales and tamale kits

Eating Green Corn Tamales

Two hot tamales are better than one. Most people eat two or more at a time. Homemade tamales are common in many local Mexican restaurants and street cart vendors. They are easy to eat, not messy and one can never have too many tamales!

While beef tamales are a favorite, chicken and vegetarian tamales are growing in popularity. Some restaurants feature chicken instead of beef choices on their menus. In Tucson, a tamale can be bought for about $2-4 each, depending on the restaurant and the size.

Sometimes, tamales are spelled wrong- such as tamales, tamalas, tammales or even temales.

Books about Tucson Mexican restaurants and tamales from amazon.com

El Charro Picante Verde Salsa (Hot)

Authentic salsa from El Charro Cafe in Tucson, AZ.

Ingredients: Crushed tomatillos (tomatillos, citric acid), water, salsa (onions, salt, garlic, white vinegar, canola oil, oregano), citric acid. Hot. 13 oz. Purchase El Charro salsa online: More El Charro Salsas

coverEl Charro Cafe:
The Tastes and Traditions of Tucson

Carlotta Flores; Hardcover

Christmas dining in Tucson
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coverTamales
Mark Miller; Hardcover

coverTamales 101: A Beginners Guide to Making Traditional Tamales
Alice Guadalupe Tapp; Paperback

Christmas Means Tamales: As Did Every Weekend When I Was a Kid
Arthur D. Sandoval; Paperback

coverCooking with Too Hot Tamales : Recipes & Tips From TV Food's Spiciest Cooking Duo
Mary S. Milliken; Hardcover


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Maseca Corn Masa Mix for Tamales

4.4 pounds. Country of origin: Mexico. Instant Corn Masa mix to prepare tamale dough for making Mexican tamales. (Masa harina for tamales). Only $3.40 for 4.4 lbs.

Vegetarian Sampler

Delicious Taste You Can Count On. A Nice Assortment of Mouth Watering Mexican Flavors. Includes 2 Dozen Tamales! Each Different Flavorful Recipe is Packaged by the Half Dozen. From Hot Damn, Tamales! draws a big crowd: The Today Show, Southern Living Magazine, In Style Magazine, Texas Monthly, and the New York Times.

Too Many Tamales

Maria is feeling so grown-up, wearing her mothers apron and helping to knead the masa for the Christmas corn tamales. Her mother even let Maria wear some perfume and lipstick for the big family celebration that evening. When her mother takes off her diamond ring so it won't become coated with the messy masa, Maria decides that life would be perfect if she could wear the ring, too. Trouble begins when she sneakily slips the sparkling ring on her thumb and resumes her kneading. Uh oh. It is not until later that night, after all the tamales have been cooked and after all her cousins and relatives have arrived, that Maria suddenly realizes what must have happened to the precious ring. Ed Martinez's warm oil paintings celebrate the riches of South American Christmas colors--adobe reds, dusty gold, lacey whites, and rain-forest greens. Martinez also has a gift for capturing children's animated expressions, especially when Maria begs her cousins to help her find the missing ring by secretly eating the enormous stack of steaming tamales! Gary Soto's delightful Christmas-spirit closure will relieve young readers who empathize with the negligent Maria. Grown-ups, too, will appreciate this playful reminder about the virtues of forgiveness and family togetherness. (Ages 4 and older) --Gail Hudson --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Tucson's Mexican Restaurants: Repasts, Recipes, and Remembrances

Suzanne Myal; Paperback