Fun and Tasty Cinco de Mayo Food
Cinco de Mayo is about different things to different people; but for most of us, food is one of the most important parts of this holiday. On May 5th every year, people in Mexico’s Puebla state and in Mexico City celebrate the May 5th, 1862 victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla – not Mexico’s independence from Spain, as many people seem to believe. As it happens, these are the only parts of Mexico where the holiday is widely celebrated – it is actually more popular in the United States than it is in Mexico.
On our side of the border, the holiday is often regarded as a celebration of Mexican culture and the contributions of Mexican-Americans to the US. However, one thing, which is the same on either side of the Rio Grande, is that Cinco de Mayo food is always a popular part of the day’s festivities.
There is an incredible amount of variation in the ingredients and the flavors of Mexican cuisine, which go far beyond the fast-food adaptations of Mexican sandwiches like burritos that many of us are familiar with. In fact, there are so many different authentic Mexican recipes you can try that you could have a whole month of Cinco de Mayo without having to repeat any dishes – there are even a great many Mexican dessert recipes you can make for this and other occasions.
There are some simple snacks, which you can serve as Cinco de Mayo food without having to spend any time in the kitchen at all. For example, there are always chips and salsa or guacamole, but there are some other choices such as plantain chips and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) which are popular in Mexico and are certain to be a hit at your own Cinco de Mayo event.
If your Cinco de Mayo party will involve dinner rather than just some snacks and drinks, then you have a lot of options open to you. In fact, you can choose from any Mexican dish you like – there are not any traditional Cinco de Mayo dishes as such, so the entire range of Mexican cuisine is yours to choose from.
You may choose to start off dinner with a sopa (soup) or an ensalada (salad) and progress to an entrée. Some of the most popular Mexican soups are pozole (a spicy hominy soup with chilies) and a goat soup called birra de chivo (this dish is so popular that there are restaurants, which serve nothing else). However, there are plenty of recipes to choose from here, so go with something that strikes your fancy.
As for a main dish, you may want to do a search for Mexican recipes, which appeal to you. One especially popular choice due to its origins in Puebla, where the historic May 5th battle occurred is mole Poblano.
This sauce pairs well with meats and vegetables alike and if you would like to try something a little different from the usual chips and salsa, it is an excellent choice. Whatever sort of Cinco de Mayo food you decide to serve, it is sure to add to the festive air of this popular holiday.
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