How many kinds of tamales are there in Guatemala?
As explained in the entry, The Main Ingredients of the Guatemalan Chuchitos, these are quite possibly the most popular tamal in Guatemala. Chuchitos are made with cooked corn which is turned into maize dough and the tomato-based blend of pumpkin seeds and other herbs into a Guatemalan recado, or sauce.
The chuchitos presented here come wrapped in dried maize husk, with tomato-based antigüeño sauce, a tiny piece of pork or chicken and chipilín, a leafy green plant with a very special flavor and aroma. Chipilín is a distant relative of spinach and it has been more popular food item in Maya societies. It is often used in sopas or mixed into the corn masa of different kind of tamales. Chipilín has a recognisable earthy, sour flavour which explains why it is never eaten raw.
As I have said in the past, tamales are probably the oldest food from the American continent with over 5,000 years of existence. Also, I mentioned that in Guatemala alone, there must be over 200 different kinds, but if you ate a different kind of tamal every day from all the areas in Mesoamerica, it would take you over 20 years to try them all. ¡Buen provecho!
© 2015, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.