Cinco de Mayo: Recipes and Traditions
Cinco de Mayo, or the 5th of May, is a traditional Mexican holiday celebrated in both Mexico and United States. Contrary to popular belief, however, it's not Mexican Independence Day. That day actually falls on September 16th. The May holiday is in celebration of a Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when Mexico was already an independent nation. That victory helped consolidate Mexico's national identity and was seen as a part of a larger fight against imperialism and for freedom.
In Mexico, the holiday is celebrated primarily in the state and city of Puebla, where the clash took place. There residents enjoy several days of parades, celebrations and reenactments of the original battle.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a larger significance for those of Mexican heritage. You might say that the 5th of May has become for Mexican-Americans what St. Patrick's Day is for the Irish. In recent years, this bright day in May is celebrated by Americans of all ethnic and national backgrounds with a festive spread of Mexican favorites and ample quantities of tasty beverages, especially cerveza and margaritas!
For any Cinco de Mayo meal, the focus should be on traditional Mexican fare: tacos, enchiladas, carne asada and the like. It's also a good idea to include one or two specialties of the City of Puebla: mole poblano (poultry in chocolate-chile sauce), chiles en nogada (stuffed peppers in walnut cream sauce), or cemitas (Pueblan-style sandwiches).
Cinco de Mayo Recipes
Try these recipes for your Cinco de Mayo celebration.
(Latin sweet rice beverage)
(Latin caramel custard)
(Central American grilled steak)
(Mexican fresh fruit beverage)
(Latin citrus-marinated seafood)
(Mexican avocado sauce and condiment)
(Mexican steamed corncakes with chicken)
(Mexican crispy tender shredded pork)
(Mexican chicken and cheese stuffed tortillas)
(Mexican fried tortillas with chicken)
(Mexican fresh tomato condiment)
(Mexican spicy beer cocktail)
(Mexican stuffed, fried chile peppers)
(Mexican roast corn on the cob)