Tamales at El Tinajon

In terms of Guatemalan food in Chicago, the first thing most caucasians probably think of is Pollo Campero, the Central American-born, international chain of fried chicken shacks with cult-like fans. But for nearly 20 years, the tiny kitchen at El Tinajon in Roscoe Village has been pumping out Guatemalan classics as well. One of the most significant culinary achievements is the tamale; yet unlike its South American or Mexican cousins, these tamales differ in texture, filling and even the vessel within which they steam.

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