Day of the Dead: this is what we traditionally eat in Mexico

The Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos, is one of the most important Mexican events of the year. It has also been listed as UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage of humanity since 2008. The festivities last for a week, but can last the entire month of October in some regions. Each day is dedicated to a category of deceased. October 28 is the day of sudden deaths and accidents, then it is the turn of the drowned.

The day of October 31 is dedicated to the young deceased, the “angelitos”. Altars are set up to pay homage to them and sweets are placed on the graves. Among the offerings are fruits, hot chocolate, sweets and “calaveras del dulce”, colorful skulls on which the name of the deceased is inscribed. Originally, these sweets were made from sugar paste, but today they can also be found made with amaranth or chocolate. Depending on the region, they can even contain peanuts, honey, or be made from almond paste. For the decorations, everything is drawn by hand.

1er November, at noon, it is the turn of deceased adults to be commemorated. For this, Mexicans prepare their favorite dishes: tamales (rollers stuffed with meat and cooked in corn husks), guacamole, mole poblano (a chicken stew), and many others… Spend time cooking to the deceased is a way of honoring their memory.
In the Yucatán, they make “Mukbil Pollo”, which literally means “buried chicken”. It is a dish made from corn, chicken and pork, cooked for a long time in an oven dug into the ground, the day before the Day of the Dead.
Mezcal and tequila shots are also left as offerings.

The bread of the dead, symbol of Día de los Muertos

If you are lucky enough to attend the celebrations in Mexico, you will not be able to miss the “pan de muerto”. It is a brioche with orange blossom or sesame seeds, sprinkled with sugar. You will recognize it by its round shape, supposed to resemble a skull, and by the pieces of dough that decorate it, representing the bones of the deceased.
According to the most widespread legend, its origin dates back to the 16th century.e century, a time when human sacrifices were practiced in order to ensure prosperity and good harvests. The offering of a princess particularly shocked the conquistadors, who had recently arrived on the continent. As a tribute, they created a heart-shaped brioche, covered in red sugar. Since then, the buns are still prepared on the occasion of the Day of the Dead and have even become one of the emblems of the festivities.

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