How to Throw the Best Cinco de Mayo Parties
Cinco de Mayo (literally, “5th of May”) is a holiday which celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862; rather than Mexico’s independence from Spain (which is actually celebrated on September 16th). Even though the holiday is not considered an especially important one in Mexico outside of the state of Puebla, it has become quite popular among people in the United States as well as in expatriate Mexican communities worldwide. Cinco de Mayo parties are one of the most popular ways to mark this occasion, with Mexican food, obviously taking center stage.
Most people hosting a Cinco de Mayo party will begin with decorations, including the red, white, and green of the Mexican flag into their theme and in the US, often adding other items to create a Mexican motif such as sombreros, making sure there is Mexican music on hand and so on. However, it is food, which is the most important part of the celebration to most people, with a variety of different Mexican dishes being served at these social gatherings.
Some hosts and hostesses prefer to keep things simple, serving appetizers with a Mexican flair like tortilla chips and salsa or simple Mexican sandwiches like tacos and fajitas. For those with a more creative bent in the kitchen, however, there are a wealth of different Mexican recipes to try. Since Cinco de Mayo parties commemorate a military victory in the state of Puebla, a growing number of people seek out recipes, which originate from this region of the country.
One of the classic dishes hailing from the state of Puebla is mole Poblano; this is a spicy sauce made from dried chilies, chocolate, cinnamon, ground nuts (most commonly almonds), and spices which makes a wonderful accompaniment to almost any dish. It is a bit more complicated than setting out bowls of tortilla chips and salsa, but a mole dish makes a festive addition to the table at Cinco de Mayo parties.
Chiles en Nogada is another Pueblan recipe which is especially well suited for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. This classic Mexican recipe of stuffed Poblano peppers topped with a walnut cream sauce and garnished with pomegranate seeds presents diners with a dish, which features all the colors of the Mexican flag. While walnut cream sauce isn’t the first thing which comes to mind when most Americans think of Cinco de Mayo parties or Mexican food in general, this is one of the many authentic Mexican recipes which is well worth considering for your party this May 5th – or as a family favorite year round.
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