Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. It is often called Mexican Independence Day in error since Mexico declared its independence on September 16, 1810, some fifty years earlier.
Similarly to St. Patrick's Day, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more enthusiastically by Mexican descendants in the United States than in its native Mexico. Celebrations include not only wonderful Mexican foods, but also parades, mariachi music, and folk dancing.
Here's a tasty recipe to mark the occasion.
4 hass avocados
1 large tomato, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup cilantro
2 jalapeño chillies with seeds (make it 1 with seeds for lesser heat, and remove seeds for mild)
Juice from one lemon
Salt and pepper
Chop the flesh of the avocados roughly and mix vigorously with the other chopped ingredients, mashing it all together. Using a fork is the easiest and most effective. You want to do this by hand and not in a blender because you don’t want a smooth puree. It should be in rustic chunks and leave some chunks of avocados for a bite. Squeeze the lemon juice over it and season with salt and pepper.
Serve with toasted pita bread, tortilla chips or bagel crisps.
Chipotle Black Bean Burritos
3 tbs olive oil
1 medium-size red onion, chopped
1 tbs chili powder
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
½ cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/3 cup plus ¾ cup purchased chipotle salsa
1 avocado, halved, peeled, pitted, diced
6 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
4 10- or 12-inch-diameter flour tortillas
1 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and chili powder; sauté until onion softens, about 4 minutes.
Stir in beans, corn, and 1/3 cup salsa. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 10 minutes to blend flavors, stirring often. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper.
Stir together remaining ¾ cup salsa, diced avocado, and 2 tablespoons cilantro in small bowl.
Heat tortillas one at a time over gas flame or electric burner for several seconds on each side to soften. Transfer to work surface.
Spoon filling onto centers of tortillas, dividing equally.
Top each with 1 tbs cheese and 1 tbs cilantro.
Fold 2 sides in over filling, and then roll up burrito from unfolded edge.
Place a burrito, seam side down, on each of 4 plates.
Top with avocado-salsa mixture and remaining cheese.
Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's mayonnaise was manufactured in England.
In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York. This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.
The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise, and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this day.
The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course, as Sinko de Mayo.
*Originally published in 2010.