The Mexican food that is wrapped in corn husks is called tamale. Its place of origin is in Mesoamerica – which includes the area of Central Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and northern Costa Rica – and is made of masa or starchy dough that is traditionally steamed in a corn husk (or sometimes, in banana leaf).
The wrapping is not part of the dish and should be discarded before eating. Tamales can be filled with different ingredients such as cheese, meat, vegetables, fruit, chilies or any other ingredients according to a person’s preferred taste. According to archeologists David Stuart, Karl Taube and William Saturn, tamales date back as early as 100 A.C. and its origin is traced to San Bartolo in Peten, Guatemala.