Staff Picks


Tamales: An Ancient Mesoamerican Treat

February 09, 2018

After a long day of shopping, snorkeling, diving, climbing, or otherwise exploring, nothing is quite as satisfying as a hearty, hot, homemade tamale, a Mesoamerican staple that’s delighted taste buds for thousands of years. From the Nahuatl word tamalii (meaning “wrapped food”), tamales are prepared from a corn-based dough filled with mouth-watering meats, vegetables, fruits, cheeses, or chilies. (As you can tell, there’s a tamale for every taste!) The entire delicious concoction is then steamed to perfection inside a banana leaf or corn husk. If you find yourself out and about in Playa del Carmen and suddenly hankering for one of these savory or sweet treats, head over to 30th Ave and 12 Bis St, just next to AKI Supermarket. Since tamales are traditionally made in huge batches, the vendor there will dole out hundreds of them starting in the early afternoon and stretching well into the night.

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