Monday, October 8, 2012

A Tamale Workshop and the fun in sharing and learning together

 Part of our experience in El Salvador has involved workshops of all kinds.  I have taken various workshops offered through MARTE and CCESV.  My husband has taught numerous workshops to fellow and future English teachers.  And I myself have led a series of workshops for women at a few universities.  So when we were invited to a tamale making get together in a fellow professor’s home, they smartly called the gathering a “Tamale Workshop”.  Our host led us through the steps to get us to a fantastic dinner of tamales de chipilín and salsa de tomate.  
  Is there something you want to learn how to make?  Is there something you love making?  If so, I encourage you to seek out your own “Tamale Workshop” or “INSERT-HERE-WHATEVER-FOOD-YOU-LIKE Workshop”.  Food is a great way to share with each other and many of us are experts in at least one family dish or traditional food.  Creating a “workshop” is a great excuse to gather some people you’d like to get to know better, share knowledge, and have a good time.

Chipilín is a popular herb grown and used here in El Salvador.

Plantain or banana leaves are cut and cleaned to wrap the tamales with.

The masa is dried ground corn mixed with water.  Corn flour and water could also be used.  A simple white cheese is cut into strips.  In the blender are sautéed onions, chipilín, and water.  Once the wet mixture is added to the masa, we added spices, salt, and olive oil. 

Chipilín leaves are added in at the end for texture.

The tamale assembly reminded me a bit of rolling a sushi roll.  Pack it tight!

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