José Guadalupe Posada – La Catrina’s Journey to the Day of The Dead

José Guadalupe Posada – La Catrina’s Journey to the Day of The Dead

José Guadalupe Posada was born in Aguascalientes; his illustrations and political commentary using skulls and skeletons eventually became associated to the Day of the Dead, and his "calavera garbancera" entered the folklore of the festivities with the name coined by Diego Rivera: "La Catrina" ... click on title for more 

Flower of the Day of the Dead – Cempasúchil

Flower of the Day of the Dead – Cempasúchil

Cempasúchil (Tagetes erecta) is an annual plant, originally native to Mexico, known in English as Mexican marigold, Aztec marigold, or wrongly, African marigold.  Used as the traditional flor de muertos (flower of the dead) in Mexico, cempasúchil is extensively found adorning tombs, and in offerings for All Saints Day, and Day of the Dead (November 1 and 2). In my garden, cempasúchil was one of the new-to-me backyard crops this year; back in September, the plants showed a precocious blooming peak, and I wondered if there would be any flowers left by early November ... click on title for more

Golletes – A Less-Known Day of the Dead Bread   

Golletes – A Less-Known Day of the Dead Bread   

Pan de muerto (literally, bread of the dead) is sweet bread that is almost always included in Day of the Dead offerings, and traditionally eaten on November 2nd, observed in Mexico as El día de los fieles difuntos, or Día de los muertos (Day of the Faithful Departed, or Day of the Dead.) In previous years, I have shared two types of this bread: the best-known version, a round bread decorated on top with dough bones and tears, and coated with sugar; the second is known as Pan de yema, a type of egg bread topped with sesame seed, from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, which is baked all year round, but decorated in a very special way for the Day of the Dead. This year, I have tried making Golletes, a less-known but very traditional Day of the Dead bread recipe, prepared mainly in Central Mexico.  Golletes are more compact compared to the other two types; they are shaped as rings, and coated with granulated sugar coloured in a bright shade of pink ... click on title for more

Amaranth Paste – A Healthy Treat for the Day of the Dead

Amaranth Paste –  A Healthy Treat for the Day of the Dead

El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated in Mexico on November 2, and amaranth was an important element in offerings for this occasion in pre-Hispanic times. Not long after the Spanish conquest, the Catholic church sent priests and missionaries to the new lands, taking the colonies by storm; they replaced the native rituals for the dead with great success, and the native amaranth was replaced with European wheat, both as a crop and for religious applications, such as for the now traditional Bread of the Dead (Pan de muerto).  Nowadays, amaranth seed has become very popular worldwide, as a healthy cereal substitute; as a way to observe the Day of the Dead, I made a batch of cooked amaranth paste, and formed it into skulls ... click on title for more

Pan de Yema – A Day of the Dead Bread from Oaxaca

Pan de Yema – A Day of the Dead Bread from Oaxaca

All wheat-based bread in Mexico has a clear Spanish or French influence, and this particular one can be traced to Spanish recipes, but some families have been baking this bread in the Mexican state of Oaxaca for several generations. Pan de yema translates as “yolk bread”, an apt name since a batch contains several eggs and a few extra yolks, giving them their characteristic flaky texture and slightly yellow tone … click on title for more