Culinar-literar: Ellen Riojas Clark and Carmen Tafolla – „Tamales, Comadres, and the Meaning of Civilization”

“Before discussing tamales as sacred food, it is important to know that the term tamal, and its plural form tamales, are the Hispanized forms of the Nahuatl word nixtamalli, a compound of nixtli, meaning ashes, and tamalli, meaning unformed corn dough”.

 “Tamales, then, are corn delicacies, savory corn packets if you will, consisting of deliciously prepared corn dough (masa) with or without a filling wrapped in a corn husk (hoja para tamal), and steam-cooked. The filling may be any kind of meat or seafood which has been cooked with herbs and spices, especially chile; but the filling may also be fruits, seeds, beans, cheese or vegetables”.

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