While our culinary vacations all include cooking components, they’re also very much about discovering the culture and traditions of a particular country and region. One such misunderstood tradition is the one surrounding Cinco de Mayo in Mexico.
On the fifth of May – Cinco de Mayo – in 1862, Mexican troops beat back French troops at the Battle of Puebla. But while the date signifies an important milestone in Mexican history, it isn’t a holiday that is widely celebrated today, other than in Puebla and other small areas of Mexico (and in the U.S. of course). Rather, Mexico’s Independence Day on September 16 is more widely celebrated with festivals, dances, parades, and parties with plenty of food and drink.
To truly honor Cinco de Mayo in the U.S. this year, make a dish that hails from the region of Puebla, such as tinga de pollo poblana. Chef Ana, of our cooking vacation Hola Mexico, suggests enjoying the chicken, chorizo, and chipotle chiles dish with a traditional sangrita drink, which shouldn’t be confused with sangria. Sangrita, according to Chef Ana, is a spicy tomato beverage that can be paired with a premium tequila.
Discover other traditional dishes and the real history of the country’s holidays by heading south. We offer multiple cooking vacations in Mexico. In addition to Hola Mexico, and its sister trip Hola Coastal Mexico, explore the Yucatan with Chef Mario during Culinary Yucatan, or the coast with Cooking on the Riviera Maya.
Learn more Mexican dishes in our recipe archives, including:
By Liz Hall
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