What are nacatamales and what is their tradition

They are a mainly Michoacan tradition and are combined with the celebration of Three Kings' Day Photo: Twitter/@Michoacan
They are a mainly Michoacan tradition and are combined with the celebration of Three Kings’ Day Photo: Twitter/@Michoacan

The nacatamales They are a Mexican dish that is prepared especially for the feast of the Archdiocese of Moreliain which the Virgen del Rosario de Quiroga is honored in an annual pilgrimage and joins with the celebration of the Holy Kings.

They are a typical preparation of Guerrero, Michoacán and Veracruz. They are also prepared in Central American countries such as Nicaragua and Guatemala.

They are made from corn and beef. pork or chickenthey can even be sweet, which will depend on the region in which they are being prepared.

Its name comes from the Nahuatl words nacatl Y tamalli, the first word is translated as meat and the second as Tamale. Thus, the main ingredient of this tamale is meat, despite the fact that there are other sweet versions.

ANDhe origin of this dish dates back to the prehispanic era, Well, at that time it was prepared for religious purposes, since it was offered to the gods in order to thank the crops and good fortune.

Originally in Mexico they were prepared for religious reasons Photo: Facebook/Archdiocese of Morelia
Originally in Mexico they were prepared for religious reasons Photo: Facebook/Archdiocese of Morelia

Upon the arrival of the Spanish there was an imposition of the Catholic religion and there was a great gastronomic miscegenation.

Because of that, in Michoacán nacatamales they stopped preparing in honor of the pre-Hispanic gods Y they ended up being carried out to celebrate mainly Three Kings Day.

It is customary to eat them at Christmas in Nicaragua, while in Michoacán it is typical to consume them on January 6 to celebrate the Virgin of Rosario de Quiroga and also to accompany the Rosca de Reyes.

They can also be enjoyed on weekends and in the rainy season (July and August) they are filled with mushrooms to take advantage of seasonal ingredients.

When the indigenous people tried to preserve their food, they wrapped it in leaves. By wrapping a corn dough in leaves and steaming it, they managed to preserve the preparation for a long time and from that principle the nacatamal was born. Later it was seasoned with herbs and filled with meat.

From Michoacán, Veracruz and Guerrero Photo: Getty Images
From Michoacán, Veracruz and Guerrero Photo: Getty Images

Ingredients

– 1 pig’s head and two kilos of solid meat.

– 5 kilos of flour.

– 2 whole white onions.

– 1/4 or 1/2 of guajillo chilies.

– 5 cobs of corn in solid and tender term.

– 1/4 of tomatoes.

– 5 branches of mint.

– Corn or banana leaves, depending on how many tamales you plan to prepare.

– Salt to taste.

They are prepared with a special sauce called atapakua, which is similar to the consistency of mole or a very thick sauce. Photo: Getty Images
They are prepared with a special sauce called atapakua, which is similar to the consistency of mole or a very thick sauce. Photo: Getty Images

Preparation

– The traditional recipe from Michoacán indicates that the first step is peel the nixtamal with ash and leave it soaking for a whole day before its preparation.

The next day the corn is ground and the pig’s head is cooked together with the solid meat.onion and salt to taste.

– Subsequently, the remaining broth will be used to make the atapakua (Culinary preparation similar to a mole or thick sauce, typical of Michoacán gastronomy).

To do this, grind the tomatoes, chiles, corn and mint, mix and then put on the fire until the sauce is well cooked.

– After that step, a thin layer of dough is smeared on the corn husks and the atapakua is added as well as a piece of meat.

– Finally they are distributed in a pot and they are left to cook approximately 45 to 50 minutes.

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