When Christmas Eve arrives, or more accurately, “Noche buena” in Spanish, families prepare to celebrate a day full of magic and peace. Every New Year’s Eve, Guatemalan families gather to share a delicious dinner, and in Guatemala, as usual, the traditional food for this day is prepared: Tamal.

In Latin America it is very common to hear about tamales, these may be different depending on the country they come from since different ingredients are used for its preparation. -Tamal- is derived from the word “Nahuatl Tamalli” which was modified to the actual word by the Spaniards. This is one of the most famous meals in the country and although it is common to prepare them for the Christmas holidays it is also common to eat them on Saturdays throughout the year. People who sell them usually put a red bulb outside their house and this indicates that there are tamales for sale. There are two types of tamales, the red tamal which is salty and consists of corn dough, pork or chicken meat with a red tomato sauce and the black tamal which is sweet and consists of a dough made of rice, pork or chicken meat with a black sweet sauce. At Christmas, families eat this meal accompanied by a delicious cup of Ponche, sharing a special dinner with the whole family and waiting for the birth of Jesus.


If you come to Guatemala you must try this famous meal and get to know a little about the country’s gastronomy.


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Lisa Ramirez Written by:

Graphic Designer, Blog editor, Spanish Teacher.

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