Homemade Tamales Around Latin America

Homemade Tamales Around Latin America

– [Edna] Tamales mean warmth. – [Erwin] We were together as a family. – [Iván] This delicious treat,
that we all made it together. – [Julissa] I think of family. – Hi, I’m Edna and today I’m
making tamales from Mexico. When you are making tamales, you want to soak the corn husks until they’re pliable. My mom just fills up the sink
and throws them in overnight or throws them in in
the morning before work. Comes home, they’re ready to go. Before I went to culinary
school, I was like, “Oh I know Mexican food.
Mexican food is this, and this type of ceviche
and these type of tamales.” But then, I saw the variety,
like so many other families make tamales so many different
ways, and just Mexico alone, I couldn’t imagine learning
every single different culture and the type of tamales they have. Tamales mean warmth, I
mean we use them for every big occasion, holidays, birthdays. Every once in awhile, my
mom just randomly feels like making tamales and
those are the best days. So the meat, you want to
cook until it’s pretty brown and the fat is all dried
up, for the most part. You want the sauce to do the
re-hydrating and softening. You want it to be fork-tender. Growing up, my mom used to save
me a couple of the dry bits of pork before adding the
sauce, but this was obviously after I had snuck a couple of them myself. I think what makes Mexico
really, really beautiful is that each state has such a variety. Honestly, the fillings are endless. You can go from savory to sweet. It’s really up to you and
the family or country. You want to prepare the masa
itself by adding the lard, baking soda, baking powder,
and a little bit of water. Mix it all by hand, because
that’s the best way to do it. It’s all about the feel with the masa. Masa is smooth, but firm and soft. As a chef, I think it’s very
important to keep traditions alive and I love sharing
my family’s recipes because it keeps them going on forever. I think what makes my family’s
tamales is really my mom. I feel like making tamales makes me just that much closer her. She is such a strong figure in my family. A strong and powerful, and the
cook, the everything, really. I hope to be like my mom one day. I had her send me recipes and
she made little clips of her making it, little
tutorials for me from far. So, I hope to make her proud of these. (lively music) – Hey there. I’m Iván,
and today I’m making the Puerto Rican pastel de yuca. Pasteles de yuca are little
pockets of yuca dough filled with pork,
wrapped in banana leaves. So what makes Puerto Rican
pasteles de yuca so special is that we cook the pork with
so much flavor and seasoning. And also the way we use yuca
as our dough, just flavor and seasoning, that’s kind of like the key of a delicious Puerto Rican meal. The very first time I had
a pastel de yuca was when my grandma made it for the
family at a Christmas Eve dinner. It was the most delicious
thing I’ve ever had. But definitely this recipe
is made by my mom, but I feel like my dad usually
always tries to take over and then he’s the one that
says “Oh, look what I made.” But yeah, I feel like it’s a
combination of both working together in the kitchen and
I feel like that’s so lovely, because it makes it even more special. One of the best memories that
I have making pasteles de yuca with my parents are getting
messy when I was a child. I really didn’t know how to
cook, so I would try to help, but instead I would just
start playing with the dough, and that was pretty much my help. So now it’s finally time
to assemble our delicious pasteles de yuca, but
first we have to heat up the banana leaves so that they’re pliable. So some families add
raisins and capors to their pasteles de yuca and some
even add garbanzo beans, which I’ve never had a
pastel with garbanzo beans, but I guess that’s a thing. My family never adds any of those things. We like to just let the
meat speak for itself. So whenever I bite into a
pastel de yuca, the flavor immediately hits and it’s
just like a tangy, salty, but also a little bit
sweet from the yuca flavor, and it’s just so delicious. And then you bite even more
into the meat and then it’s like a burst of flavor with the
seasoning and all the spices and it’s just — so I would
add ketchup to my pasteles and my dad, especially,
would get so mad because he would say, “I spend so much
time giving this pastel flavor and then your gonna spread
ketchup all over it. That’s so disrespectful,”
and I would just laugh, because I was like, “Well
I like it with ketchup, so I’m gonna eat it with ketchup. I love pasteles de yuca so
much I feel like it’s that tiny piece of home that I
get to keep, even if I live miles and miles away from
home, so it definitely brings all my family together and
I feel like that’s something very important for Puerto
Ricans, in general. Oh my God. My mom will be so proud. – Hey. I’m Erwin, and today
I’m gonna show you how to make Guatemalan paches. Paches are Guatemalan tamales,
these are made with tomatoes. Wait, not tomatoes. Potatoes. (laughs) The paches are the best
tamales in Latin America. What I remember, I was around
six years old the first time when I try paches and
they were really good. You never can forget this taste,
because when you’re eating a pache, the taste is like
the most beautiful thing in the world and it’s so delicious. So the paches are really important for me because remember me when I was little. All the family was together
and we always ate paches on Saturdays, which is something like masa with family doughs in Gatamala. It’s really special. It’s something cultural that we always do. So I live in Los Angeles. My wife and my kids live
so far away from here, they live in Guatemala. And I’m real excited because
I’m gonna see then soon. And I know the are excited, as well. We make a lot of tamales. We make like more than 100 tamales. We are giving to the neighbors,
so it’s really special, because when you’re taking
tamales to your neighbors they now so much spirit into your family. One thing I love about my
mom is when she’s cooking you know it’s always
delicious, and she doesn’t take the compliment when you say,
“Oh it’s really delicious.” And she’s always, “Oh, I
forgot to put something on it.” She never takes the compliment
of the delicious food that she makes. All the time I’m always asking
my mom to make me some paches and she’s always like, “Oh
yeah, I can do it for you, but you guys need to help me
because it’s a lot to do.” And I’m always like, “Of
course, Mom. I’ll help you.” And it’s really funny when
we’re really packing all the paches, because I don’t have practice when I’m making the paches. One, it’s too big and the
other one is too small, and she’s always like, “Do
the right size, do the right size,” and she’s always
made at me because of that. When she’s packing them she’s
always like, “Oh, I forgot if I put meat in that
one. I don’t remember.” So she’ll start all over
again and it’s funny because it happens, when you’re
doing paches you’re like, “Oh I don’t know if I forgot the meat,” which is really important in the paches. It was really fun making
all the tamales together because it was always
something for somebody to do. That way you can make the
tamales faster, that way you can not get too tired doing it by yourself. Now because we were working
all together making the tamales that’s why it’s a really special
moment for me to remember. Mmmm. Mm-hmm. – Hi. I’m Julissa, and today I’m making Dominican pastel en hojas. I feel like when I bite
into a pastel and I get that first bite, it’s like a hint
of savory, but then you get that little, little sweetness
in the back of your pallette. Dominican food is so flavorful. We don’t like spicy, contrary
to the belief of everyone thinking, “Latinos enjoy spicy food.” We don’t. Our spices
come from just flavor. You know, all around Latin
America everybody has a lot of the same dishes, but everyone
also puts their own twist on it, and for us we use
platanos, which is like life in Dominican Republic,
that’s all we eat. So we just wrap this
plantain up in some delicious ground beef and that’s it. It’s your snack, it’s your
dinner, it’s your side. It’s whatever you want to have. Whenever it’s made, you know
it’s because of the holidays and you know that it just
brings warmth and happiness to the family and to me. That’s usually what I think of. You know, I never get tired
of saying why I’m proud of being Domican. As many times as people ask
me, I love talking about it. Just our culture of being
such happy and proud people, and being proud Latinos
and embracing every part of that journey. The laughter that we
always bring, the humor. What’s really interesting is I didn’t like pastel en hojas when I was younger. (laughs) I was like, “Ew, that’s
gross,” without trying it. And as I got older, I
remember it was one Christmas at my Tia Petra’s house, and I loved it. We put ketchup on it after. For me, ketchup on it was
like the cherry on top. Now I can’t go a Christmas
without having it, which is so funny because I did a complete 360. Mmm. Mm-mm-mm! This is good. – [Edna] They just always
remind me of my mom. – [Erwin] They’re delicious.
You really have to try them. – [Iván] It was the most
delicious thing I’ve ever had. – [Julissa] This is gonna
ake me extremely happy. [Man] Oh yes. (lively music)

100 thoughts on “Homemade Tamales Around Latin America”

  1. I’m a Mexican that grew up in Caguas, Puerto Rico and I can say with extreme confidence pasteles got nothing on Mexican tamales 😉

  2. My family will fight over tamales with corn maza,cream cheese, chicken, and a piece of jalapeno maybe like a small slice if you like spicy leave the seeds but that's my favorite

  3. I want to try all of these!!! I think every culture has some variation of starchy food with meat cooked in leaves and that’s like one of my favourite stuff to eat.

  4. You know what my mom does, she makes kinda like a pastel de yuka and a tamale together like she makes a regular tamale but she puts it in banana leaves instead of a corn leaf

  5. Sinceramente la forma en que hacen el tamal mexicano no esta bien hecho ,ASI NO SE HACE LA CARNE ,averigüen bien como se hace

  6. I have had the joy of tasting almost every Latin American version of tamales. And honestly. Although the Mexican are the most popular ones, they are the least tasty. Venezuelan Hallacas, Puerto Rican Pasteles de Yuca and the Peruvian Tamal are on the top my list of the most delicious one.

  7. A tamale isn’t a tamale if it isn’t packed with meat and masa. if you know you know that you want to make the biggest tamale so you can eat it when it’s done.. mex

  8. Wow latín cultured have so many variations of certain foods. I only know the mexican tamales with the corn husks I know some parts of Mexico do it with banana leaves too

  9. I’ve only had Mexican and Salvadoran tamales. I have to say that both are unique because none of these are the same, I mean that each are made differently depending on which part of the country it’s from. Tamales from Oaxaca are not the the same as the ones from Mexico City. The same can be said in El Salvador. I’ve had green tamales, red tamales, pork, chicken, beef, chick peas and raisins, garbanzo beans, pinto beans……you get my point

  10. These are very similar to the Philippines version of tamales, it is just that as Asians we use offcourse ground rice as the starch. haha. Been growing up as a kid not appreciating it. but now I appreciate it more cause it reminds me of my parents. It is one of their favorite merienda food.

  11. South American countries like Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Perú especially have some of the most diverse, healthy, and delicious cuisines in the world! Pero like se estan perdiendo una gran oportunidad by not showcasing these dishes in your videos! Pónganse las pillas!

  12. How famous Mexican food has become that people say “Guatemalan” tamales even if they have their own name “paches”

  13. Those paches are totally different from what my mom makes like the one my mom make is visually better looking and thicker as well. Then again, not all paches are the same.

  14. In Hawaii we love pasteles from Puerto Rico but it's been adapted over time. We also pronounce it pa-te'-lez. Without the s sound. Green bananas (we dont call it plantains) mixed with achiote oil and wrapped in banana leaf then ti leaf and steamed. The filling is most of the time pork but can be chicken or beef as well and the best ones have plenty black olives!

  15. Used to use "tasting" as an excuse to eat the masa when my mom would make it. I had the same problem as the guy where mines would be super tiny and then the size of a brick lol those were great times…I need to make them again soon

  16. I mad that the Guatemalan tamales where like that. My family's tamales are definitely made differently then what he made.

  17. Tamales originated in Mesoamerica as early as 8000 to 5000 BC. The preparation of tamales is likely to have spread from the indigenous culture in Mexico and Guatemala to the rest of Latin America.- WikipediaBooom!
    Mexico was the first. Quit copy cattN us lol

  18. It's not just Latin countries that make these kind of dishes. I live in an area kinda like China Town where they sell banana leaf wrapped glutinous rice filled with things like chestnuts, pork and chicken. It's called Zongsi. When my mom makes Michoacnan style tamales she adds a little of the pork marinade to the masa to add more flavor. Oh and don't forget the sweet pineapple, raisin, strawberry or chocolate tamales. Usually around Xmas my mom makes around 200 tamales cause on Christmas eve we get a steady stream of people comming around asking if she made tamales.

  19. Mexican American and I love tamales!! I want to try them from all over. These recipes look and sound amazing!! #latinalife

  20. I feel like Tamales in Colombia are so different from other Latin countries. The most similar version of the tamales shown in this video, specially the Mexican ones, are envueltos; but we often eat them in the breakfast rather than special occasions.

  21. Noooo! Lol my brothers also like to put ketchup until everything too. I think it's a guy thing because I don't do that.
    I put salsa and either sour cream or crema maybe cheese if feeling zesty 😆

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