You are reading about the who, what, where, when and why of food on this blog named mmm-yoso!!! Well, at least some of those are included in each post. We (Kirk, Ed (from Yuma) and Cathy) try to write interesting, informative posts which are food-centric. Today, Cathy is trying.
It's October. The time is close to Halloween, and you probably have been seeing pumpkins, candy for sale and other 'scary' displays since August.
Decorated sugar skulls with 'gifts' for the dead. Yes, Halloween -All Hallows Eve- is just before the day before the Day of the Dead, a religious holiday celebrated by Christians. (In Catholicism, November 1st is All Saints Day and November 2 is All Souls Day.). The costumes and scary events of Halloween are meant to scare off the souls of the dead which remain on earth. In Mexico, the holiday is Dia de los Muertos and is celebrated on November 2 with making small altars or shrines to the deceased and leaving gifts for them.
Inside Mexican Markets and Bakeries, you will notice some displays of oddly shaped bread for sale near this holiday.
This is what it looks like out of the package. The symbolism- round signifying the circle of life, and topped with 'bones' of the dead, is Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead).
The traditional flavor of this soft, eggy bread? Orange peel with anise -orange and black- the 'Halloween' colors.
You can see some of the tiny black specks in this slice-the anise seeds. A sweet soft bread, which is meant to be consumed with atole- a hot corn beverage- or a good hot chocolate. If you see this bread in the store now, grab a loaf; it will be gone by November 3.
Last weekend, we were at Northgate Gonzalez and there were small Pan de Muerto in the donut shelves for 70¢. However, when we sliced into it, it was a very nice buttery sweet egg bread and not orange or anise flavored. A good, sweet bread, but not the traditional flavors. We didn't buy the large loaf because we have usually purchased from the smaller Mexican markets in the neighborhood. I'd look to see if there were anise seeds on the exterior of the bread to know it has the traditional flavors.
I hope everyone has a good weekend.