Sometimes, if you're desperate, you can make do with even a lame version of a food you really, really want. But there's just something about canned tamales that just doesn't appeal to us...at least, not when you can make the real thing, instead.
But if you're truly craving tamales, there is indeed a canned version out there that is likely in your local grocery store. We won't say there isn't something tempting about cooking up something from a can at the end of a long day instead of preparing a whole meal, but should a staple Mexican food really come from a can?
Can You Buy Canned Tamales?
Hormel canned tamales do have 20mg of cholesterol, and 22g of total carbs, so make of that what you will if you pay attention to those things for your diet. They're made with water, beef, tomatoes, cornmeal, cornflour, modified cornstarch, masa flour, chili powder with chili peppers and "flavoring," whatever that means, among other ingredients.
We can see how Hormel tamales or other canned tamales might be a pandemic comfort food for some, but we prefer the real deal.
OK, So What's in Real Tamales?
Real tamales are made of masa or dough steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. They can be filled with meats, cheese such as cheddar cheese, fruits, vegetables, and chilies. They were originally a Mesoamerican dish and are sometimes served at Tex-Mex restaurants in America today. Some recipes call for enchilada sauce or sour cream to be added to the meal, too.
One of the cool things about tamales is they can easily be prepared gluten-free, and they're pretty customizable to your own tastes. Throw in whatever meat or cheese you want -- we won't judge.
If you've already had tacos and burritos recently and want to try something new, try to whip up some tamales instead. Or, just buy the ones from a can if that suits your fancy. Again, we won't judge. (...much)