Authentic Mexican Food: Discover the Guajolota, the Unique Sandwich Made with a Tamale
We love authentic Mexican food in all its incarnations, from the more complex and refined to the typical antojitos callejeros you’d find at any corner. Recently, we discovered a new food that we've never heard of before, but that instantly piqued our interest, the guajolota, or torta de tamal.
What is it?
To put it frankly, una guajolota is basically un tamal that is sandwiched between two pieces of bolillo bread and instantly made into a delicious Mexican torta. This impromptu sandwich is found in the streets throughout Mexico. This on-the-go meal can be enjoyed as you stroll down the street, or tackle your day’s quehaceres. You’ll find street vendors selling these bad boys near offices, schools, el mercado, or even by churches!
First Things First
The heart of this sandwich is of course, el tamal. If you’ve never had one of these before, boy have you been missing out! Each country in Latin America has their own twist on tamales, but essentially, its a masa, almost always made of corn, that is filled with anything from meat to cheese to beans, veggies and chiles, and wrapped in a corn husk.
Algunos países wrap theirs in a banana leaf instead, but for our purposes today, let’s concentrate on tamales mexicanos wrapped in la hoja de maíz. The tamal is then steamed until it’s cooked to perfection.
On to the Torta
Once the tamales are steamed, their outer covering, la hoja de maíz, is discarded. You’d do this regardless if you’re making the torta, or just enjoying el tamal, because who wants to eat corn husk?
Next, street vendors take a bolillo roll and nestle the tamale in here for its delicious journey into a hungry person’s belly. The bolillo es perfecto for this because of its oblong shape and soft texture. Some vendors hollow out the inside a bit so that the tamal can fit better. And that’s how you assemble una torta de tamal. ¡Así de fácil!
You can accompany your guajolota with un chocolate caliente or some atole (you know, because you can never have enough corn!), which you can also buy from a street vendor. This meal is simple, yet delicious. Try it and we are sure you’ll be satisfied.