Guatemalan cuisine is predominantly influenced by the cuisines of the Mayans and Spanish people. It features lots of chilis, beans and corn, as primary ingredients.
A popular traditional custom is to eat paches on Thursdays. Paches are a type of Tamale using potatoes as a central ingredient. Perhaps the most notable national dish is the festive feast known as Fiambre, which is served on special occasions, most often on November 1st – which is All Saints Day.
There are believe to be literally hundreds of versions of tamales prepared in Guatemala. The many variations have to do with how and which key ingredients are included in the masa (dough), and the filling – which can be any assortment of meats, nuts, or even fruits.
Another variable is the wrapping. Guatemalan Tamales most often are wrapped in green banana leaves, although some prefer to wrap them in corn husks.
The masa (or dough, is made out with maize (corn) that is not sweet. In the west it would be called “feed corn” – like that which is fed to livestock animals. Guatemalans would call what people in the USA prefer to eat, “elote” – which means “sweet corn”.
Guatemalan cooks often cook their masa in large batches ahead of time and store it. Preparing the dough is time consuming and laborious, so it is good to have some on hand for making daily meals of tamales.
But enough of background and customs. Let’s get into the real reason you came here for, and that is the recipes!
The list below is for your convenience. Click on the recipe of your choice, and you will be taken to a print-friendly page with just that one recipe on it. Off you go now, into the delicious and savory world of …
Tamales – Guatemalan Style
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