Although tamales and pasteles may look very familiar, there are a few differences between the two.
What do they have in common? They are both freakin' delicious!
Tamales - These are from Mexico and are rooted from Aztec and Maya civilizations.
Pasteles - You can find pasteles in many Latin American countries, especially those in the Caribbean. Those places include Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
Similarities: Both are very popular and consumed in many countries, including the United States!
What They Are Made Out of:
Tamales - They are made with corn masa (corn flour). They are wrapped in corn husks.
Pasteles - They are made with green bananas, yuca, and/or taro root (depending on which country you ask!) They are typically wrapped in plantain leaves or parchment paper.
Similarities: They are both held in wrapping, which is discarded before consumption. They are also stuffed with different fillings, depending on your preferences. And that may include meats, vegetables, and spices.
Tamales - Because they are made with corn, they taste largely of maize.
Pasteles - Because they are usually made with green plantains, they taste largely of plantain.
Similarities: The taste in tamales and pasteles may vary, depending on the region and/or country. Also, what you stuff in them can dictate their taste and flavors! (And who is making these delicious thing).