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Why is Mexican Food Culture So Special

Each country has its own unique food traditions. Mexico is certainly no exception in this regard, with many fascinating (and delicious) Mexican food traditions which are all its own. Some of these Mexican food customs include preparing and serving special recipes for holidays and other important events. Some of these holiday dishes are world famous, while others are lesser known, being rarely seen outside of Mexico.

Mexican Holidays And Recipes

Perhaps the best known of Mexican holidays is Cinco de Mayo. This celebration on May 5th every year is commonly thought to be Mexico's Independence Day holiday. As it happens, the holiday was declared not to celebrate Mexican independence from Spain, but the victory of the Mexican army over the French in 1862 at Puebla.

Outside of the state of Puebla, the holiday is a minor one - though there are some special Cinco de Mayo dishes, which are served on this day, especially in Puebla. This state is the region of Mexico where mole, an important ingredient in many traditional Mexican recipes was developed; and this is a popular sauce nationwide.

One traditional Cinco de Mayo recipe often made in Puebla for this holiday is turkey cooked in a mole sauce. This would be mole poblano in particular (the name means "Puebla-style mole"), a rich, nutty and spicy sauce which is worth every bit of the considerable time and effort needed to make it. Turkey is a popular food in Puebla and in fact, in much of the country. Turkey shows up not only here, but also in many Mexican recipes, even some of Mexico's other special holiday dishes.

Christmas And Epiphany Food Traditions

Since Mexico is an overwhelmingly a Catholic nation, there are special Christmas celebrations as well as celebrations for feast days of certain saints as well as other dates of religious significance throughout the year. When it comes to food though, there are few countries, which know how to celebrate with the flair of Mexico. Christmas has its own special Mexican food traditions such as the "posada," a special Christmas morning meal.

At this holiday meal, the menu may include codfish, turkey soup, mashed potatoes with cranberry/chili relish and punch, especially with marshmallows. Adding to the festivity of the occasion is often a piata, something which Mexican children eagerly anticipate about their family's posada.

In Mexico, the feast of Epiphany is also celebrated with special food and drink. The Spanish-style ring shaped Epiphany cake was introduced to Mexico and has become a Mexican food tradition of its own. The addition of hot chocolate, a drink which is a new world innovation is a Mexican addition to this holiday meal.

Of course, no discussion of Mexican food traditions and Mexican food history would be complete without a mention of Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican "day of the dead." This is the Mexican celebration of All Saints Day on November first and there are special dishes eaten such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto - bread which is baked, glazed, and decorated with colored sugar. Smaller pieces of dough are prepared in the shape of bones and skulls to decorate these holiday loaves.

The most famous food tradition connected with Dia de los Muertos is the making of the colorful, skull shaped candies called sugar skulls. These are made from sugar which is pressed into molds and decorated, sometimes very elaborately - many of these candies are works of art which are simply to wonderful to eat!

The food traditions of every nation reflect their unique culture, something which Mexican food traditions certainly do. The country's amalgam of new world and old world ingredients, recipes and cooking methods have resulted in a culture - and a set of traditional foods which are an integral part of Mexican life and culture.
About Author KC Kudra :

While there take time to learn more about Mexican food history, culture and cooking methods. Our Mexican Cooking Glossary has complete phonetic pronunciations for the none Spanish speaking Mexican food lover. <a href="" target="_blank"></a> When it has to be Real Authentic Mexican Food

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Article Added on Wednesday, November 25, 2009
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