The Difference Between Tamales & Pasteles

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Although tamales and pasteles may look very familiar, there are a few differences between the two.

What do they have in common? They are both freakin’ delicious!

Their Origins:

Tamales – These are from Mexico and are rooted from Aztec and Maya civilizations.

Pasteles – You can find pasteles in many Latin American countries, especially those in the Caribbean. Those places include Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Similarities: Both are very popular and consumed in many countries, including the United States!


What They Are Made Out of:

Tamales – They are made with corn masa (corn flour). They are wrapped in corn husks.

Pasteles – They are made with green bananas, yuca, and/or taro root (depending on which country you ask!) They are typically wrapped in plantain leaves or parchment paper.

Similarities: They are both held in wrapping, which is discarded before consumption. They are also stuffed with different fillings, depending on your preferences. And that may include meats, vegetables, and spices.

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