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Food Photo: Chicken Tamale

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Tamale

A tamale (Spanish: tamal, from Nahuatl: tamalli) — also tamal — is a traditional Latin American dish made of masa (a starchy dough, usually corn-based), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can themselves be filled with meats, cheese, fruits, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.

Tamales have been traced back to the Ancient Mayans, who prepared them for feasts as early as the Preclassic period (1200-250 BC).

Tamales originated in Mesoamerica as early as 8000 to 5000 BC. Aztec and Maya civilizations, as well as the Olmeca and Tolteca before them, used tamales as portable food, often to support their armies, but also for hunters and travelers. There have also been reports of tamale use in the Inca Empire long before the Spanish visited the New World.

(Source: Wikipedia.org)

 

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