Aztec Tamales

Photos taken in La Costa Chica Oaxaca, Mexico by Sal Rojas Photography

Are you ready to eat some hot and delicious Mexican style tamales for the holiday season?

We can thank the Aztecs of Mexico for inventing this traditional holiday staple. Aztec warriors invented the tamale to fill the need for a portable power food to be eaten on the battle fields. They took masa (moistened ground corn), filled it with whatever meat was available, wrapped the tamales in banana leaves and cooked them over hot ashes buried in the ground. This conveniently wrapped tamale was the perfect food for warriors on the march.

They helped spread the popularity of tamales to other indigenous cultures in the Aztec region.

Recipes and methods of making tamales have changed throughout the years. When the Spanish conquistadors brought pots and pans with them, tamales started to be steamed and boiled.

Photos taken in La Costa Chica Oaxaca, Mexico by Sal Rojas Photography

The tradition of making tamales has been passed on from generation to generation and from village to village.

Tamales (tamalli) are not the only food we can give credit to the Aztecs. A lot of the Mexican food we eat today like corn tortillas, chili, tomatoes (tomatl), guacamole (ahuaca-molli), and chocolate (chocolatl) are also from the Aztecs, even their names are based on the Aztec�s language called Nahautl.

Next time you have a hot plate full of tamales and a warm mug of champurrado let�s give thanks to all our family, friends, and Los Aztecas de Mexico.

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