what's a tamale

Delicious Wrapped Food

Tamales are a corn masa usually filled with chicken, pork or vegetables, steamed in cornhusks or banana leaves. They date back to 8000 to 5000 BCE, and were eaten by the Aztec, Maya, and Inca civilizations, as well as the Olmeca and Tolteca before them. Tamale or tamal derives from the word tamalli, from the Nauhatl language spoken by the Aztecs, meaning wrapped food. Conveniently portable, tamales were used to support tribal armies, hunters and travelers.

Ancient Process

Tamales are made by the ancient process of enhancing the maiz (corn), called Nixtamalization. The grain is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, typically in limewater (the mineral, not the fruit), and then hulled. This technique not only makes it easier to grind the maiz, but also enhances the nutritional value, flavor and aroma. This first step is crucial to make not just tamales, but tortillas, corn chips, and hominy. After the grain is prepared, it’s steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. Cornhusks are typically used in the north and banana leaf in the southern regions such as Oaxaca.

Corn Husk & Banana Leaf

Cornhusk wrapped tamales have a soft and moist masa with true corn flavor. These tamales are most common in northern Mexico. Banana leaf wrapped tamales have a creamy and smooth masa with unique broth flavor. These are most common from southern Mexico and all throughout central and South America.

Organic NW Ingredients

Almost every region and state in the country has its own kind of tamale. And now at Tamale Boy we’re creating our own twists on traditional flavors.


Reheating Tamales is easy! Buy them family style and toss ’em in the freezer! Break them out for an easy dinner, awesome snack, or game day! Here’s how to do it:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2.Wrap the frozen tamales individually in aluminum foil and place in baking pan.

3.Place a bit of water in the baking pan, adjusting the tamales. Cover the entire baking pan with aluminum foil, and let the tamales cook for 30 min.

4.Remove the tamales from the oven and remove the aluminum foil. They are ready to serve and enjoy!
1.Precalienta el horno a 350° f (176,6° C).

2.Envuel los tamales congelados en papel de y colócalos en una asadera.

3.Pon la charola con agua en el fondo, en el horno y deja que los acomoda los tamales y tapalos con papel aluminio,se cocinen durante 30 minutos.

4.Retira los tamales del horno y retira el papel aluminio , y estaran listos para servir.
1.Place frozen tamales in a steamer pot. Adjust tamales inside the steamer so they are not pressed tightly against each other, since the leaves expand as they warm up.

2.Pour water into your steamer. Only add the amount indicated in your steamer’s instructions and bring to a boil. Let the tamales boil on medium heat for 45 minutes. (Note: you can place a coin inside the steamer, the coin will make a ringing noise so as long as there is still water in the pot.)

3.Place a kitchen cloth over the tamales to absorb the condensation from the lid of the steamer and avoid the moisture to drip on the tamales. Place the lid of the steamer back on and cover the tamales.

4.Let the frozen tamales boil in the steamer pot for 45 minutes. Turn off and remove the tamales from the steamer using metal tongs.

5.If reheating tamales that have not been frozen, follow the same procedure for only 15 minutes.
1.Coloca los tamales congelados en una vaporera. Los tamales deben estar ajustados pero no apretados, ya que las hojas de maíz se hinchan al calentarse.

2.Vierte agua en la vaporera. Pon solamente la cantidad indicada en las instructions de tu aparato y hazla hervir. Deja que hierva y manten a fuego medio los tamales durante 45 minutos. Puedes poner una moneda dentro del agua y estara sonando como guia de que todavia hay agua.

3.Pon un paño (toalla de cocina )sobre los tamales para absorber la condensación de la tapa de la vaporera y evitar que gotee sobre ellos. Pon la tapa en la vaporera.

4.Deja que los tamales congelados se calienten al vapor durante unos 45 minutos. Apaga y retira los tamales de la vaporera con unas pinzas de metal.

5.Recalentar lo tamales no congelados solo lleva 15 min.