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Tamale information

Tamale Oaxaqueño thumb.png
Wrapped and unwrapped tamales oaxaqueños (from Oaxaca, Mexico) filled with mole negro and chicken
CourseMain course
Place of originMesoamerica
Region or stateNorth America
Main ingredientsCorn (maize) masa, banana leaves, Corn husks
VariationsCorunda, Guajolota, Uchepos, Zacahuil
Similar dishesHumitas, pamonha
  • Tamale Cookbook: Tamales
  •  Tamale Media: Tamales

A tamale, in Spanish tamal, is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa, a dough made from nixtamalized corn, which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf.[1] The wrapping can either be discarded prior to eating or used as a plate. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, herbs, chilies, or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.

Tamale is an anglicized version of the Spanish word tamal (plural: tamales).[2] Tamal comes from the Nahuatl tamalli.[3] The English "tamale" is a back-formation of tamales, with English speakers interpreting the -e- as part of the stem, rather than part of the plural suffix -es.[4]

Tamales served to honor the birth of a child, Florentine Codex
  1. ^ Daniel., Hoyer (2008). Tamales (1st ed.). Salt Lake City, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423603191. OCLC 199465927.
  2. ^ "tamale". English–Spanish Dictionary. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  3. ^ "nacatamal". Real Academia Española. Retrieved 2018-04-08.
  4. ^ "Origin and Meaning of Tamale". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 25 November 2018.

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