For our exit from Central America, we went big – Focusing on Tamales made with shredded Muscovy Duck. This dish has quite a bit of history, and we tried to capture it throughout this dish.

We’ve talked about the Muscovy duck on last week’s podcast. This duck is a bit weird, but it’s naturally leaner and larger duck. They are native to Central and South America, focusing on the coastal regions. Though the duck is being spotted around North America, we had to hunt down the duck breasts to make the recipes and lucked out with a local butcher company, The Butcher Shoppe, which does meat delivery around the Toronto area.

History of the Aztec

The Aztec and their empire existed from the 1400’s through mid-1500’s. Based on their legends and histories of other neighboring groups, it’s believed they were hunters and gatherers, that settled into a larger group. Even though the Aztec empire was present for less time than other empires; they still grew massively with a huge influence on the region. The wealth, socioeconomic system with political bureaucracy that they established along with their language of Nahuatl: They ensured their legacy.

So, why Tamales?

Based on Archaeological records, we believe that Tamales date back to 8000 b.c.e. We often associate them with hunters and gathers (So, the groups that became the Aztecs), due to the portability of Tamales. In Aztec culture, we know Tamales were used in offerings to Gods. With this, we used ingredients available and made our decision from there. This provided the texture of Masa, the savory flavors of the Muscovy Duck, cooked in tomatoes with dried peppers.

With this, we picked up our ingredients at a local Mexican foods grocer (Nostalgia Latin Market) and we may or may not have also picked up Empanadas while we were there (It’s our secret).


Meghan’s Review

5 out of 5 stars

I loved the flavor, loved the taste and loved how filling they were. This recipe made so many of them that we’ve frozen a ton of them. This will be our lunches for weeks. Tamales are amazing and the duck provides such a cool change.

Brad’s Review

5 out of 5 stars

I’ve never come across a tamale I didn’t like: These were no exception. I was surprised the find the duck taste like a combination between pork and chicken. Normally, I don’t go for the spice and even a couple hours, my tongue is still tingly, but the mole went really well with it. I highly recommend this recipe.


I'm an IT Product Owner who enjoys playing video games, cooking and painting.

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