A National Tamales Day? Why Not! Here’s How to Celebrate in Belize

by McNab Editorial Team
Bertha's Tamales Roeming Belize

For all the Belizean foodies out there, undoubtedly unwrapping a tamale is one of life’s great treats – the steam that marries with the sweet scent of corn, recado & meat. So when we heard there was actually a day dedicated to celebrating these tasty local favorites, we jumped at the chance to join in on the fun. Who knew National Tamales Day is celebrated on March 23?! To celebrate, we are sharing our favourite tamales-themed activities here.

Try Your Hand at Making Tamales at Home


Image and recipe courtesy Flavors of Belize.

While tamales are not difficult to make, preparing the filings and masa are a lengthy process that require quite a few steps. Naturally, then this recipe is a great excuse for family and friends to get together to form an assembly line and have a bit of fun in the kitchen. This recipe from the Flavors of Belize cookbook uses banana/plantain leaves combined with some delectable herbs and spices. Adding chicken or pork also gives the flavors an extra boost.

Don your Chef Whites at a Guided Cooking Classes

Nervous about trying this recipe at home alone? Instead, opt for a local cooking class. Located in San Ignacio, Cayo, Eden Valley Mayan Kitchen cooks up only Mayan dishes. In addition to tamales, here you will learn to make corn tortillas, Maya soup, and Maya chocolate drinks from scratch.

Take a Roadtrip to Miss Bertha’s Tamales

miss bertha tamales by CC
Photo by Carolee Chanona
Miss Bertha's unmistakeable red and white hut on the Hummingbird Highway. Images courtesy Carolee Chanona
Miss Bertha's Tamales. Photo by Carolee Chanona

Ask any local in Belize where to get the best tamales and Miss Bertha’s will be mentioned. So good that the tamales here have been featured on CNN, AFAR, and local productions like Onli eena Belize. So if you are up for a scenic roadtrip, hop in the car and make the journey part of the experience. You’ll find the unmistakeable red and white cabin on the Hummingbird Highway. From this modest hut, Miss Bertha’s daughter cooks and serves up hundreds of chicken and corn tamales a day. Our tip – pair them with the homemade pepper sauce and an ice-cold Coca-Cola.

Make a Night of It


Want to make more of a night of it? This luxury bolthole has created an immersive culinary and cultural experience. Here, tastemakers will cook authentic dishes, like tamales, in a traditional Maya Kitchen. Enjoy the meal you’ve prepared under the stars before retiring to one of the stunning villas for a restful night sleep at Ka’ana Resort.

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