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.
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.
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.
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