When I started planning my posts about Cinco de Mayo, I thought my summary and conclusion would be that this holiday was overstated and that, if celebrated at all, it should go beyond mixing a few Margaritas. After actually writing and posting about it, though, I have learned a lot of the background history in a global context, and now I understand how the events in Mexico, the Second French Empire, and the American Civil War were all connected, and definitely put the celebration of Cinco de Mayo outside of Mexico into context; even the Margarita cocktail ended up being part of the story! In Canada, Cinco de Mayo is mostly promoted by bars and Mexican restaurants, but I think that it is fair to say that the devastation left by the American Civil war, and the victory of the Mexican army against a European power (the last European invasion to the Americas), probably served as a cautionary tale, setting the tone for the mostly peaceful process of unification of the remaining North American British colonies, starting in 1864, and leading to the formation of the Dominion of Canada, a federation of self-governing British colonies, on July 1st, 1867.
On this coming May 5th, I am going to embrace the Cinco de Mayo holiday like I never did in Mexico. All the historical background from my last five posts can be found together in the History Tidbit “Cinco de Mayo – Beyond Margaritas”. My menu will include the posted dishes and beverages, also considering vegetarian and non-alcoholic options (right column, below), since my daughters are back home for the summer, and one or the other are vegetarian, under 19, or not into drinking. For recipes, click on the pictures or highlighted text:
Nachos and Five Layered Dip with or without meat:
The dessert, a Mexican Bread Pudding (Capirotada) from Agujita, Coahuila, my mother’s birthplace, may be enjoyed by everyone in the family: