Tamales: An Ancient Delight

Tamales have long been a staple of Mexican cuisine, as well as a long-time favorite in Mexican-American cooking.  Most modern tamale-lovers don’t know just how long of a tradition tamales have!  In fact, they’re one of the most ancient and revered foods you can still eat today, with people still enjoying them during the holiday season and beyond.

Tamales: Bringing Friends and Family Together

One unique aspect of tamales is that they take a lot of time and energy to prepare properly.  Properly preparing the corn dough, to putting the filling together, to the lengthy steaming process can take a day or more.  So, tamales are often made in huge batches of dozens or even hundreds at a time, in a communal setting with many cooks working on them at once.

This has made tamales a staple of holiday gatherings, such the Day of the Dead, La Candelaria Day, and especially Christmas.  Both their cooking and consuming brings people together for special occasions, celebrating shared love of good food and good family.

Today, Ramona’s carries on this tradition with our delicious beef tamales, ready year-round for your enjoyment.  And when you settle in with a steaming-hot plate, perhaps you’ll think about enjoying them for a future Christmas or holiday as well.

The Origins of the Tamale

Tamales are so old that we don’t even know exactly how old they really are.  Tamales were a common food among both the ancient Aztecs and Mayas, and it’s estimated that they’ve been around for at least seven thousand years, and maybe as much as ten thousand!  Moreover, the preparation of tamales has changed extremely little in all that time.  Aside from changes in cooking technology, the only major differences between a modern tamale and an ancient one is that today’s tamales have a bit more fat in them and some types of meats used have changed.

Preparing Tamales

In both ancient and modern times, the tamale starts with a dough made primarily of maize, which sometimes has lard or vegetable shortening added for consistency.  These can then be filled with a vast variety of meats, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, and chili.  Finally, they are rolled into tubes, and wrapped in either corn husks or banana leaves prior to steaming.

In the past, they were often used as a travel food, while in modern times they’re simply a beloved part of delicious Mexican-style meals.

Ramona’s not only offers tamales, but many different authentic Mexican food dishes, as well as catering services. For more information about their restaurant or products, please contact Ramona’s today!

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