Every year in mid-December, making tamales becomes the thing to do in Costa Rica and in most parts of Latin America. Similar to making Christmas cookies or candies in the United States or Canada, families come together to spend the day preparing heaps of steamy tamales wrapped in banana leaves.
Tamales date back to pre-Columbian times with the word tamal coming from the indigenous word tamalli which means “wrapped.” These small packets are a staple at every Costa Rican Christmas dinner and a gift given throughout the holiday season to show appreciation and endearment of friends, neighbors, and loved ones.
The making of tamales is an all-day process and is a special time for the Costa Rican family to spend together. From preparing the dough, to mixing the ingredients in just-right quantities, to cutting the banana leaves that will wrap the finished product, both young and old take on a role in assembling the tamales. After many hours of working in unison, the finished tamales are divided between family members and given as gifts to close friends. The gift of a tamal is special as it is handmade by the family and is a heartfelt gift symbolizing the importance of love, family and tradition.
Merry Christmas from Tulemar Vacation Homes Rentals & Sales!
We hope to see you in 2014!