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Tamales are tasty masa,"corn meal" pockets that are made with either pork or beef.  Actually you can fill them with just about anything.  They are wrapped in corn husks, steamed and then served on your plate with some hot chile or salsa on the side.

At first glance they make look confusing to eat.  The tamale's outer layer is  corn husk, and that is definitely not eaten. It is there to hold the tasty inner ingredients in place. However they require some work and a good attitude and someone usually to gossip with, while you're working.  That speeds the work up and you have lots of fun while doing it.`

Tamale  comes from the Nahuatl word,"tamali' .  They were and Indian tribe that lived in Mexico many years ago.  When they first started being made is not really known, but the Aztecs did  eat them long before the Spanish came and conquered Mexico. In Mexico as well as some parts of the United States, tamales are traditionally served on special holidays, like Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  

Mexican Americans, like myself eat and make them.  There are many variations and recipes on how to make them.  Tamales unfortunately get a bad wrap from some of us as being too time consuming.  However, unlike our ancestors, everything is purchased ready made and makes them actually easy and fun to prepare, especially if you're doing them on a holiday, like Christmas or making them with your friends or family.  Some of the best times I have had with my sisters and my mom have been during our tamale making sessions.

 

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