Fun Reasons to Celebrate !
Cinco de Mayo is around the corner and many Americans will celebrate by eating popular Mexican meals like tacos, drinking Mexican beer, and listening to mariachi music. Since many people may not know the actual reason that Mexico celebrates this particular date, I will like to share with you a little about Mexico history.
Cinco de Mayo is a celebration that occurs on May 5th, which commemorates the Mexican army’s victory over France in 1862 at the battle of Puebla. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. Therefore, in the US, just like the celebrations coming from Mexican heritage have evolved, so has the cuisine that is influenced by Mexican tradition.
Mexican gastronomy is primarily a combination of indigenous Mesoamerican food with European ingredients, especially Spanish. Spaniards introduced a variety of ingredients including rice, domesticated animals (pork, chicken, goat, and sheep), dairy products, and some herbs and spices. Mexican cuisine is famous for its elaborate dishes and for its varied use of vegetables.
It is easy to confuse Mexican food with Tex-Mex (mix of Mexican and southern US cuisine), which is actually very different. Tex-Mex is often full of sodium (due to its use of processed meats), and uses yellow cheese (cheddar), flour tortilla (wheat or white), ground beef, canned vegetables, and cumin (cumin is not used in Mexican cuisine). There is a rule that says “the more starch there is, the more Tex-Mex it is”. In contrast, Mexican cuisine relies more on local ingredients, and for that reason Mexican dishes vary by region, which explains the existence of many popular traditional meals such as mole, burritos, ceviche, etc. Some of the staple ingredients in Mexican cuisine include corn, beans, avocados, tomatoes, chili peppers, along with rice, regional vegetables and herbs. The most popular seasonings are homemade salsas and limes.
Now that you have a better understanding of the meaning behind Cinco de Mayo and about Mexican cuisine, you have the perfect excuse to celebrate. Enjoy the traditional Mexican food and music.