Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish that has gained popularity throughout the world. They are made of masa, a type of dough made from corn, and are typically filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. Tamales are often served during holidays and special occasions and are a staple at many Mexican restaurants.
One of the most common questions people have when it comes to tamales is what to serve with them. While tamales can be enjoyed on their own, they are often served with a variety of side dishes that complement their flavors. From simple salads to more complex dishes, there are many options to choose from when it comes to serving tamales.
In this article, we will explore some of the most popular side dishes that are served with tamales. Whether you are looking for something light and refreshing or something more substantial, we’ve got you covered. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of tamales and discover what to serve with them.
What are Tamales?
Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. They are made with masa, a dough made from corn that is filled with various ingredients such as meat, cheese, vegetables, or chili peppers. The filling is then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed until cooked.
Tamales are often eaten during celebrations such as Christmas, Dia de los Muertos, and other special occasions. They are also a popular street food and can be found in many Mexican restaurants.
The history of tamales can be traced back to the Aztecs, who used them as a portable food for warriors and hunters. Tamales were also a popular food among the Mayans and were often used as a form of currency.
Today, tamales are enjoyed all over the world and have become a staple in Mexican cuisine. They are often served with a variety of side dishes such as salsa, guacamole, beans, and rice. Tamales can also be enjoyed on their own as a delicious and filling meal.
5 Best Served Dishes with Tamales
Tamales are a delicious and traditional Mexican dish that can be served as a main course or a snack. They are made with masa, which is a dough made from corn, and filled with a variety of ingredients such as meat, cheese, or vegetables. While tamales are tasty on their own, they can be even better when served with the right accompaniments. Here are five dishes that pair perfectly with tamales:
1. Refried Beans
Refried beans are a classic side dish for tamales. They are made by cooking pinto beans until they are soft and then mashing them with spices and lard. The result is a creamy and flavorful side dish that complements the texture and flavor of tamales.
2. Mexican Rice
Mexican rice is another popular side dish that goes well with tamales. It is made with white rice, tomatoes, onions, and garlic, and is seasoned with cumin, chili powder, and other spices. The combination of the fluffy rice and the savory sauce pairs perfectly with the rich and filling tamales.
Guacamole is a creamy and flavorful dip made from mashed avocados, onions, tomatoes, and lime juice. It is a great accompaniment to tamales because it adds a fresh and tangy flavor to the dish. Plus, the creamy texture of the guacamole is a nice contrast to the chewy texture of the tamales.
Salsa is a classic Mexican condiment that can be served with tamales. It is made from tomatoes, onions, peppers, and spices, and can be mild or spicy depending on your taste. The acidity of the tomatoes and the heat of the peppers complement the rich flavor of the tamales.
5. Mexican Salad
A fresh and crunchy salad is a great way to balance out the richness of tamales. A Mexican salad typically includes lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and avocado, and is dressed with lime juice and olive oil. The combination of the crisp vegetables and the tangy dressing is a refreshing contrast to the hearty tamales.
What is the Traditional Way to Eat Tamales?
Tamales are a staple in Latin American cuisine, and they are often served during special occasions such as Christmas, Dia de los Muertos, and other celebrations. The traditional way to eat tamales varies depending on the region, but there are some commonalities.
In Mexico, tamales are often served with a side of beans, rice, and salsa. They are usually eaten with the hands, and it is customary to unwrap the tamale and eat the filling first. The masa (corn dough) is then eaten, and the corn husk is discarded.
In Central America, tamales are often served with a side of curtido, which is a pickled cabbage slaw. They are also eaten with the hands, and the filling is eaten first, followed by the masa.
In South America, tamales are often served with a side of ají, which is a spicy sauce made with chili peppers. They are usually eaten with a fork and knife, and the filling and masa are eaten together.
Regardless of the region, tamales are often served with a hot beverage such as atole or champurrado, which are thick, sweet drinks made with masa, milk, and cinnamon.
Overall, the traditional way to eat tamales is a communal experience, where friends and family gather around the table to enjoy this delicious dish together.
Do You Eat Tamales with Anything?
Tamales are a delicious and traditional Mexican dish that can be enjoyed on their own or paired with other complementary foods. While tamales are flavorful and satisfying on their own, many people enjoy serving them with a variety of sides to enhance the overall meal experience.
Here are some popular options for what to serve with tamales:
- Salsa: A classic and essential accompaniment to tamales, salsa is a great way to add some extra flavor and spice to your meal. Whether you prefer mild or hot, red or green, there’s a salsa out there that will perfectly complement your tamales.
- Guacamole: Another staple of Mexican cuisine, guacamole is a creamy and delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with tamales. Made from mashed avocado, lime juice, and other seasonings, guacamole adds a fresh and tangy flavor to your meal.
- Rice and Beans: For a heartier meal, consider serving your tamales with a side of rice and beans. This classic combination is a staple in many Latin American cuisines and provides a satisfying and filling accompaniment to your tamales.
- Salad: If you’re looking for a lighter side dish, a simple salad can be a great option. Try a fresh and crisp green salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing to balance out the richness of the tamales.
- Fruit: Fresh fruit can be a refreshing and healthy addition to your tamale meal. Try serving sliced pineapple, mango, or watermelon alongside your tamales for a burst of sweetness and flavor.
Overall, there are many delicious options for what to serve with tamales. Whether you prefer spicy and bold flavors or fresh and light accompaniments, there’s a perfect pairing out there for you. So the next time you enjoy tamales, consider trying one of these tasty side dishes to take your meal to the next level!
In conclusion, serving tamales can be a fun and exciting way to add some flavor to any meal. With so many different options for sides and toppings, it’s easy to make tamales a versatile and customizable dish.
Whether you prefer to keep it simple with a side of rice and beans or want to get creative with a variety of toppings and sauces, there are plenty of delicious options to choose from. Some of the best sides to serve with tamales include:
- Guacamole and chips
- Pico de gallo
- Salsa verde
- Grilled vegetables
- Refried beans
- Mexican-style street corn
- Salad with a citrus vinaigrette
In addition to these classic sides, you can also experiment with different flavors and textures to create your own unique twist on the traditional tamale. Whether you’re serving up a big family dinner or hosting a party with friends, tamales are a great way to bring people together and enjoy some delicious food.
So next time you’re looking for a fun and flavorful meal idea, consider serving up some tamales with your favorite sides and toppings. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find a combination that everyone will love!