Husk and Tamales

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  • Topic: Husk, Masa, Maize
  • Pages : 4 (1759 words )
  • Download(s) : 323
  • Published : March 7, 2004
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My Experience With Tamales

Before I started to do this project I wanted to know the history and background of the tamale. I found that the tamale was recorded as early as 5000 BC, possibly 7000 BC in Pre-Columbian history. Initially, women were taken along in battle as army cooks to make the masa for the tortillas and the meats, stews, drinks, etc. As the warring tribes of the Aztec, Mayan, and Inca cultures grew, the demand of readying the nixtamal (corn) itself became very overwhelming process. A need arose to have a more portable sustaining source of food. Tamales could be pre-made ahead of time and packed, to be warmed as needed. They were steamed, grilled on the comal (grill) over the fire, or put directly on top of the coals to warm, or they were eaten cold. While searching the web I found no record of which culture actually created the tamale but believe that the snowball effect where one tribe or culture started and the others soon followed after and so on and so on. The tamale caught on very fast and eventually grew in variety and diversity unknown in today's culture. There were plain tamales, tamales with red, green, yellow and black chile, tamales with chocolate, fish tamales, frog, tadpole, mushroom, rabbit, gopher, turkey, bee, egg, squash blossom, honey, ox, seed and nut tamales. There were white and red fruit tamales, white tamales, yellow tamales, dried meat tamales, roasted meat, stewed meat, bean and rice tamales. There were sweet sugar, pineapple, raisin, cinnamon, berry, banana and pumpkin tamales. There were hard and soft cheese tamales, roasted quail tamales, ant, potato, goat, wild boar, lamb and tomato tamales. Of course you get the idea, there's a lot of varieties and inventive ways of preparing and making tamales. The sizes, colors and shapes varied almost as much as the fillings. They were steamed, oven-roasted, fire-roasted, toasted, grilled, barbecued, fried and boiled. The wrappings are made of corn husks,...
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