Archive for April, 2014

Cinco de Mayo Party Tips and Food Ideas

Cinco de Mayo is just a bit more than a week away. If you’re planning on celebrating by having some friends over, read below for some ideas about what to do and what to eat during your fiesta.

  • Consider decorating your party space with red, white and green (the colors of Mexico’s flag). String crepe paper chains in these colors near the ceiling.
  • Find some maracas and, with a permanent marker, write each of your guests’ names on them for using as place cards. Tell your guests to take them home as party favors.
  • Find sombreros of different sizes and place them on furniture and tack or tape the smaller/less heavy ones to the wall.

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How the Taco Became an American Staple

Tacos are as ubiquitous around the United States as, well, Taco Bell. (We won’t go here about whether or not a Taco Bell taco is a real taco: that is a discussion we will not join….)

According to Jeffrey M. Pilcher, a University of Minnesota professor of history who has studied the history and politics of Mexican food, the taco’s origin is unknown.

Interviewed in a May 2012 article at, Pilcher said he believes the originated in the silver mines of Mexico during the 18th century. Why? Because, according to Pilcher, the word “taco” was used to refer to the small charges miners would use to extract the ore and what we’ve come to know as a taco – albeit one wrapped in a soft tortilla – looks like the charge.< The first time a taco appears in a dictionary or other reference work was in the later part of the 19th century, Pilcher said. In fact, the first time the word “taco” appears is as tacos de minero, or “miner’s tacos. Read the rest of this entry »

Easter Traditions in Mexico

Pascua is what Mexico residents call Easter and some would argue that it’s a more important religious holiday in Mexico than is Christmas.

Mexicans celebrate Easter with a combination of Christian and native indigenous traditions and rituals, mirroring the country’s Spanish and indigenous history. Christian missionaries – during the time when Mexico was a Spanish colony – allowed indigenous peoples to meld their customs with more traditional Christian Easter rites. Thus Easter celebrations often include a lot of traditional dances!

Palm Sunday through Easter Saturday is known as Semana Santa (Holy Week). Pascua comes next and includes Easter Sunday through the following Saturday.
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Mexican Easter Foods

For anyone looking to experience some authentic Mexican culture, food is always a good place to start. There are many traditional foods eaten in Mexico, especially around the holidays. Here are some of the Easter traditions shared in Mexico.

Cheese made of milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and nutmeg is a common snack during the Easter season. It is formed into a ball and then sliced for individual servings. Fish is a very popular dish leading up to Easter. One of the most popular traditional foods is a fish soup made with lima beans. Shrimp is also quite popular and is eaten with a traditional sauce called Pipian, usually made with pumpkin seeds. Read the rest of this entry »

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