Traditional vs. Modern Tamales: What's the Difference?

Traditional vs. Modern Tamales: What's the Difference?

Traditional vs. Modern Tamales: What's the Difference?

Posted on 27 Mar, 2023

Tamales have been an essential part of Mexican cuisine for centuries, with its history dating back to the Aztec Empire. This delicacy is a popular dish, and it has evolved over time, leading to different variations of tamales. If you've never tried tamales before, you're in for a treat! But with so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to decide between traditional and modern tamales. In this blog post, we'll explore the differences between the two and help you make the best decision for your taste buds.

What are Tamales?

Before we dive into the differences between traditional and modern tamales, let's first establish what a tamale is. A tamale is a Mesoamerican dish made of masa (a type of corn dough), filled with a variety of ingredients such as meat, cheese, vegetables, and chili peppers, and wrapped in a corn husk. The tamale is then steamed until the masa is cooked and the filling is hot and juicy.

Traditional Tamales

Traditional tamales are made using the same recipe and methods that have been passed down for generations. These tamales are usually made with a corn-based dough and filled with a combination of meat, such as chicken or pork, and traditional spices like chili powder, cumin, and garlic. The corn husk is an essential part of the process, as it helps to hold the tamale together while it steams, giving it its unique shape.

Modern Tamales

As with any dish, tamales have evolved over time. Modern tamales come in a variety of flavors and styles, with some restaurants even offering vegan or vegetarian options. Modern tamales can be made with different types of dough, such as sweet corn or even masa made with quinoa or other grains. Some modern tamales have even ditched the corn husk, instead using banana leaves or other wrappers to create a different texture and flavor.

Differences in Ingredients

The primary difference between traditional and modern tamales lies in the ingredients used to make them. Traditional tamales stick to the classic ingredients such as pork or chicken and traditional spices like chili powder, cumin, and garlic. In contrast, modern tamales have a wider range of ingredients that include vegetarian and vegan options such as tofu and plant-based meat substitutes.

Differences in Cooking Techniques

Another significant difference between traditional and modern tamales is the cooking technique. Traditional tamales are cooked by steaming them in a pot over low heat for several hours, which is what gives them their unique texture and flavor. Modern tamales may be baked or grilled, giving them a different texture and taste.

Differences in Presentation

Traditional tamales are typically served in the corn husk, which is peeled back to reveal the tamale inside. On the other hand, modern tamales may be served in a variety of ways, such as unwrapped, cut into bite-size pieces, or even turned into a tamale pie.

Which One Should You Choose?

Ultimately, the choice between traditional and modern tamales comes down to personal preference. Traditional tamales are perfect for those who want a taste of history and tradition, while modern tamales offer a twist on the classic dish. If you're a vegetarian or vegan, modern tamales are an excellent option for you.

Experience Traditional and Modern Tamales at Con Huevos Restaurant

At Con Huevos Restaurant, we're proud to offer both traditional and modern tamales on our menu. Our traditional tamales are made with corn-based dough and filled with chicken or pork, while our modern tamales include vegan and vegetarian options, such as our delicious Vegan Tamale, which is made with roasted poblano peppers, corn, and vegan cheese. We also offer a special seasonal tamale flavor, so make sure to check our menu for the latest offerings.

Our tamales are made fresh daily using high-quality ingredients, and we're committed to providing our customers with an authentic Mexican dining experience. Whether you're in the mood for traditional or modern tamales, we've got you covered.

In addition to our tamales, we also offer a wide variety of other Mexican dishes such as Chilaquiles, Huevos Rancheros, Burritos, Quesadillas, and more. And if you're looking for a unique twist on classic dishes, try our Mexican Shakshuka, Avocado Toast with Mexican Twist, or Mexican Quiche.

Don't forget, we also offer delivery services so you can enjoy our delicious food from the comfort of your own home. Just give us a call at (240) 479-0375 or email us at [email protected] to place your order.


In conclusion, tamales are a beloved Mexican dish that has evolved over time, giving rise to both traditional and modern variations. The primary differences between traditional and modern tamales are the ingredients, cooking techniques, and presentation. Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to personal preference, and at Con Huevos Restaurant, we're proud to offer both options.

If you're in Trussville or the surrounding areas, come visit us at Con Huevos Restaurant and experience our delicious tamales and other Mexican dishes. And if you're looking for delivery, give us a call or send us an email to place your order. We look forward to serving you!

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