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The most popular Mexican tamales, get to know them!

25 mayo, 2021

The mexican tamales be part of a very Latin American tradition. Yes, we don’t just eat different kinds of tamales in Mexico but there is a great variety of recipes that are made in different latitudes to celebrate different special dates.

We recommend: The pre-Hispanic history of why we eat tamales on Candlemas Day

In our country it is estimated that there are at least 500 varieties of mexican tamales. That is why we want to take you to know the most representative of the different regions of the country, which you should not stop trying.

It may interest you: How to make tamales?

mexican tamales candelaria day

Photo: Getty Images

But first, let’s talk about the origin of mexican tamales.

Curiosities about Mexican tamales

  • The word tamale comes from the word tamalli, which means “wrapped.”
  • It is believed that they arose in Mesoamerica between 800 and 500 BC
  • The Mexica made tamales with quite exotic ingredients: flamenco, axolotl, gopher, frog and rabbit, among other species. They were also enjoyed by sweets, filled with fruit, with honey or pumpkin.

Take a look: The 7 tamales you must try in Latin America

  • The women who knew how to make tamales in pre-Hispanic times were highly appreciated.
  • There are more than 500 recipes for Mexican tamales.
  • The Tamales They have other names throughout Mexico: pibipollos, pulacles, chamicles, maneas, jacuané and pata de burro, among many others.

Check this out: Granny makes 800 tamales to doctors who saved her life from Covid-19

green tamale with atole

Photo: Getty Images

Most popular Mexican tamales


The corundas are known throughout western Mexico, both in Michoacan where they originate from, as in the states of Jalisco and Colima. The uchepo It is another typical tamale of this region and its flavor is generally sweet.

Oaxacan tamales

The Oaxacan tamales They are made of corn dough and generally wrapped in banana leaf and stuffed with pork or chicken with black mole, they can also be iguana meat, stuffed with yellow mole and chipilín.

Green or mole tamales

The green tamales Y of mole They are one of the most popular, especially in CDMX. They are wrapped in corn husk and are stuffed with chicken with green sauce or mole, hence their name.

Be careful here: The dishes that you should consume with more care

Yucatecan tamales

Chaya tamales

The chaya tamales they are typical of the south and southeast of Mexico. Campeche It is one of the places where they are tradition: its preparation consists of stirring the dough with the chaya, these delicious tamales are filled with tomato sauce and toasted and ground pumpkin seeds. There is also another recipe in which chaya tamales are prepared with corn dough filled with hard-boiled egg.

In Chiapas the dough is mixed with lard and chopped chaya leaves; in Tabasco the dough has chaya leaf and amaxito chili and in Yucatán and Quintana Roo it is served with chiltomate and, sometimes, sprinkled cheese.

Chipilín tamales

The chipilín is a wild plant that grows in certain tropical places of Chiapas and its use enhances the flavor of the tamales that are prepared with great delicacy: the chipilín leaves are mixed with the nixtamal dough, chicken meat is placed on them or cheese and finally wrapped with great care.

You can also read: 39 Easy Sweet and Savory Tamale Recipes

chipilín tamale

In addition to the leaves, this tamale is usually filled with cheese and chicken meat, and they are wrapped with banana leaves, so they remind a bit of the typical Oaxacan tamales.

Veracruz Tamale

The mass of the Veracruz tamale It is made with corn kernels ground with milk, these are mixed with melted lard. These tamales are filled with pork, ancho chile mole and epazote leaves.


The shape of these tamales is what differentiates them from the others: it can be oval or spherical, in addition to being tied to both ends of the corn or banana leaves in which they are wrapped.

They are prepared mainly in Campeche, Yucatán, Veracruz and Tabasco, the latter is the place where the dough is prepared with lard and broth, in addition to being colored with achiote and stuffed with pork or chicken seasoned with ancho chili. , spices and epazote.

In Yucatan they are known as chanchames and, in Veracruz, they are called Chan Chan.


The zacahuil it is also known as party tamale, typical of the Huasteca region. This tamale, which is prepared in a metal tub, can measure up to three meters and weigh up to 50 kilos.

It is served with jalapeño peppers, onion fillets and slices of carrots, all of this pickled in water with vinegar and spices.

zacahuil tamale

Photo: Getty Images

Before you go: Origin of the millennial tamales

Why are tamales eaten on Candlemas Day?

Mexican food to celebrate the pride of our country

Mexican tamales recipes to prepare at home

See Recipes:

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