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General Discussion 26

Christmas tamales around the world ... The Twelve Tamales of Christmas

rworange | Dec 3, 201008:29 AM

What type of tamales do you eat for Christmas? What country are they from?

In Guatemala, tamales negras are the Christmas specialty

“the tamal negro (black) is usually made only for special occasions and Christmas, of course. The black tamal takes its name from the chocolate-based sauce and comes with raising, dried plums and nuts. Yes, it is bit sweet, although the tamal negro is considered a main dish.”

I asked my Guatemalan family what type of tamales they would be making and they said, “Tamales rojo”.

I asked if the red tamales were the same as tamales colorado and the answer was no. It seems like these use various types of meat such as duck, pork and turkey. Like the black tamales they seem to have a sweet element, incorporating raisins. It seems everyone gets involved in this project, so it should be fun to be a part of and see what is involved.

So what are your special Christmas tamales? Do you make or buy them? When do you make them ... Chrestmas Eve or before?

When are the served ... Christmas Eve, breakfast for Christmas, Christmas dinner? This article from the San Francisco Chronicle says they are served throught the Christmas season especially during posadas, the nine days before Christmas

The above link mentions Tamales de Cambray which sound a lot like the tamales rojo

"Though the guajillo chile sauce provides some heat, the lively filling of shredded meat with tomatoes, currants, olives and ripe plantain brings the chiles into balance ..These tamales are traditionally made with three types of meat ... . In Mexico, cooks often poach pork shoulder or chicken in salted water with onion, garlic and herbs until tender, then shred the meat, explains Mackenzie; the resulting broth is also used in the tamales. In Oaxaca, as in other tropical areas of Mexico, banana leaves are often used as a wrapper."

What do you served with your tamales ... ponche, rompompe, hot chocolate, beer ... something else? The SF Chronicle has some suggested wine pairings.

Here's a funny blog with video about making Christmas tamales in Texas. He rants a bit at first about a Texas newspaper printing a recipe about tofu tamales, is a little politically incorrect in places and then gets down to the tamale making.

You have to admire the ecumenical spirit of this blogger who made vegetarian Jewish Christmas tamales ... rather than go for the traditional Chinese dinner

Here's an article (pdf format) about a restaurant that serves "The Twelve Tamales of Christmas"

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