On May 5, 1862, 8,000 French soldiers converged on the city of Puebla, Mexico. General Ignacio Zaragoza led his Mexican Army of 4,000 soldiers into battle against the French. When the battle ended, …
On May 5, 1862, 8,000 French soldiers converged on the city of Puebla, Mexico. General Ignacio Zaragoza led his Mexican Army of 4,000 soldiers into battle against the French. When the battle ended, and the smoke cleared, the Mexi- can Army defeated the French filling the people of Mexico with great dignity and pride.
Interestingly, Cinco De Mayo is widely celebrated in the United States, but in Mexico, it is an important holiday only for the city of Puebla. Like other holiday celebrations, food is an important part of the festivities.
Mexico’s national dish and the official dish of Cinco De Mayo is mole poblano – a dish which was created in Puebla de Los Angeles. Mole itself dates back much further and is a derivative of the Aztec language Nahuatl for the word sauce.
There are two versions of the Aztec use of mole. One account says the Aztecs served mole to the conquistadors upon meeting them while another account says the Aztecs served mole as a royal and reli-
gious offering prior to the Az- tecs meeting the conquista- dors.
Regardless of which story you believe, when finished mole poblano is a sweet rich brown sauce that uses an- cho chiles, sugar, cacao and some- times Mexican chocolate used traditionally to coat turkey.
Other traditional favorites for Cinco de Mayo include meals such as chilaquiles, tamales, tacos, pozole and a favorite of many, barba- coa.
Barbacoa is traditionally sheep, goat or beef that is slow roasted in an underground oven. It is commonly confused with traditional barbecue, but barbecue involves cooking on a grill. Barbacoa is a steaming or baking process. Like
traditional barbecue, there are different regional variations when it comes to barbacoa.
A Cinco de Mayo celebration will always have good traditional food. You do not have to travel hundreds of miles for it. Find a recipe you like and obtain the ingredients at a local grocery store. Just be prepared that many of these traditional dish- es take time to prepare but you will not be let down with the results.