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Tamales have been a cornerstone of Mexican cuisine for centuries. Bursting with flavors and cultural significance, tamales are a culinary treasure that captivates the taste buds and tells a rich story of tradition. And not to mention, they’re the perfect treat for colder weather. Join us this month as one of your favorite Manchester restaurants unwraps the history of one of our favorite seasonal dishes!

History of Tamales

Tamales trace their roots back to ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, where they were considered a portable and nutritious food for warriors and travelers. The word “tamal” is derived from the Nahuatl language, spoken by the Aztecs, and the tradition of making tamales has been passed down through generations.

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Types of Tamales

Classic Tamales: These are the most common tamales you’ll find, filled with seasoned meats such as pork, chicken, or beef, and wrapped in masa—a dough made from hominy (nixtamalized corn).

Sweet Tamales: Perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth, these tamales feature fillings like chocolate, cinnamon, fruit, or sweetened masa. They’re often enjoyed as a dessert or special treat during festive occasions.

Vegetarian Tamales: Embracing the diverse flavors of Mexican cuisine, vegetarian tamales are filled with a medley of vegetables, beans, cheese, and sometimes chilies for an extra kick.

Tamales de Elote: Celebrating the sweetness of fresh corn, these tamales are made with masa mixed with corn kernels, creating a delightful texture and flavor.

Tamales de Dulce: A festive variation, these sweet tamales are often brightly colored and filled with ingredients like sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes even a touch of anise.

The Art of Tamale-Making

Making tamales is not just a culinary endeavor; it’s an art form. Families often gather during special occasions or holidays to create these savory or sweet bundles together. The process involves spreading masa on a corn husk, adding the desired filling, and  folding the husk to create a perfect pocket of flavor!


Vallarta Restaurants | Manchester Restaurants

Whether you’re craving savory tamales or other delicious Mexican food, you’re always welcome to join us at one of the best Manchester restaurants around. To explore all of our delicious options, check out our online menu or call ahead to order takeout today!

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