Though originally a Mexican holiday, Cinco De Mayo, celebrated on May 5th, is quickly becoming one of America’s favorite. Cinco De Mayo is a perfect celebration of the ever increasing diversity that many parts of the U.S. are experiencing. This article will explore the history of Cinco De mayo, its modern day festivities, and the wonderful food and drink this holiday offers.
Cinco De Mayo Drink Recipes
- 1800 Agave Nectar Squeeze
- Bartender’s Margarita
- Piss in the Woods Cocktail
- Margarita Shot Recipe
- Tijuana Taxi Mixed Drink Recipe
- Margarita Drink Recipe
- Tequila Sunrise Cocktail Recipe
Why Is Cinco De Mayo Celebrated?
Cinco De Mayo represents different things to different people. Parts of Mexico celebrate Cinco De mayo as a representation of Mexico’s independence from the United States. In other parts of Mexico Cinco De Mayo is celebrated as a representation of Mexico’s unlikely victory in a battle against the French. In the United States Cinco De Mayo is a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture. Contrary to popular belief, Cinco De Mayo is not Mexico’s version of independence day.
Like most holidays, Cinco De mayo is one that is celebrated with friends and family. It is a celebration in the true sense of the word. It is not uncommon for many Cinco De Mayo celebrations to have mariachi bands, wonderfully flowing Spanish skirts and lots and lots of dancing.
In some parts of Mexico and even in some U.S. celebrations, there is an element of religious observance that plays a role. Some spend the time in Spanish catholic churches. Though this is often a more quiet part of the Cinco De Mayo celebration, for some it represents a large portion of the meaning behind the holiday.
Food and drink
One of the best parts about Cinco De Mayo is the amazing spread of food and variety of drink that many of the celebrations have. Spanish influenced culture is notorious for the variety and decadence of the culinary aspect of their festivities.
Some of the most common foods found at a Cinco De Mayo party are things like tacos, tamales and mole. These foods offer an incredibly diverse range of tastes and flavors. For example some mole can be incredibly deep and rich having more than 30 ingredients cooked in a slow process to really bring out all of those flavors. Tamales, though they appeared simplistic on the outside, can contain some of the most complex and exciting flavors on their inside. Chicken, beef, fish, bean, whatever you can think of, are often ingredients used in tacos. A good fish taco has no rival in the culinary world.
Another interesting aspects of the foods that are served at any Cinco De Mayo celebration is the way in which they are served and the process of eating the foods themselves. Many Cinco De Mayo spreads are presented in a way that requires social interaction. Many of the foods are handled not with forks and knives, but tenderly with hands. Creating an atmosphere in which food acts as a bridge between social involvement is a direct result of the Mexican culture.
Some of the best drinking you can possibly do is done at a Cinco De mayo celebration. Without being too irreverent, it is important to point out that the whole purpose of a Cinco De Mayo celebration is to celebrate. The drinks reflect this idea.
Margaritas, Paloma, Michelada or their rougher cousin Tejuino are all common drinks at a Cinco De mayo celebration. As you can tell from this particular line up the point of these drinks is to help people have fun.
Cinco De Mayo in the U.S. Is a direct reflection of our ever changing cultural identity. It is also one of my favorite holidays.
Photo Credit: Samantha Celera (top photo)
Photo Credit: Flickr-Rickr