The International Kitchen Blog: Discover Culture on Culinary Vacations - Cinco de Mayo
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Discover Culture on Culinary Vacations: Is Cinco De Mayo Celebrated in Mexico?

Next May 03, 2013 Previous

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.

Tinga de pollo poblanaOn 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 two cooking vacations in Mexico. In addition to "Hola Mexico," explore the Yucatan with Chef David during "A Mexican Expedition in the Yucatan."

By Liz Hall

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