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Celebrate National Tamale Day

Mar 09, 2022

Hot tamale! This month, tamale lovers the world over get to celebrate their favorite food. Established back in 2015, National Tamale Day satisfies appetites every March 23rd, and here at Pueblo Bonito, our chefs promise to serve you the most delicious, seasoned masa pockets that you’ve ever tasted.

Tamales have a rich and flavorful history deeply rooted in Mexico. Traditionally, they consist of pillowy, stone-ground corn mingling with delicious fillings like spicy pulled pork in chili sauce or melted cheese all tucked inside a corn husk or banana leaf that’s steamed or boiled before eating. As far back as the 15th century in Central America, tamales were the original takeout meal: filling and convenient quick bites that could easily be packed to go. Ancient texts tell us that tamales were also a preferred offering for the Aztecan gods. Even today, mystery and mysticism surround this doughy, savory morsel. Some believe a curse will befall anyone who dares eat a tamal that sticks to the pot, so if you’re making tamales, be sure to cook them thoroughly in order to avoid the wrath of the beyond!

In modern day Latin America, tamales remain an important part of holidays and special occasion celebrations; family members or small groups often gather to make hundreds of tamales to share or sell. Pulled pork might very well parlay with cheese, but beans, chicken, and turkey are common fillings, too, along with vegetables and complementary seasonings. It’s most common to indulge in a tamale by simply unwrapping the steaming package and eating it straight from the husk or leaf, but some choose to enhance the meal by adding salsa and crema, hot sauce, or guacamole. Tamales can be served for dessert, too. Most often fruit-filled, these hand pies might be sweetened with caramel or cream, and are usually smaller than the hearty, savory tamale served as a main course.

If tamales are new to you, seize the day and your opportunity to experience something new by visiting our gourmet restaurant, LaFrida, or El Mexicano at The Market at Quivira—both at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach. If you’re ready to try your hand at making them yourself, try this easy and delicious recipe from LaFrida’s Chef Contreras.

Buen provecho! Start planning your next Pueblo Bonito vacation today.