Sunday is May 5th. It's a date that really only has meaning in the USA and a few regions of Mexico. People from these areas celebrate on this day. It's called "Cinco de Mayo" and Mexican food and drink are plentiful that day.
It's kind of like "St. Patrick's Day" in that everyone seems to enjoy the festivities. To tell the truth, most have no idea of why they are celebrating this day. So I'll give a brief history of why this is a famous day to partake in a great culture of not only food and drink but other traditions.
Let's start with the few regions of Mexico. They celebrate because it marks the defeat of the French at the battle of Puebla by Mexican forces. It was May 5, 1862. And it's a big deal there.
As for the USA, it began in the southwest part of our country. This was a day to celebrate honor, freedom and democracy that the Mexican-Americans had come to know throughout the southwest and California. They were glad and proud of the opportunity given them in the United States. And what better way to celebrate but with fiestas food and drink.
Today it is celebrated throughout the USA honoring Mexican heritage and pride. It puts an emphasis on the influence of this culture on the melting pot of the United States.
Mexican food was first an influence from Texas to California as settlers move to settle the west. Tex-Mex refers to how the Mexican influence met other ethnic influences of the American settlers. They taught us how to spice up our food.
Today, my guess is that 99% of the citizens of the USA eat Mexican food regularly. The fun thing with this food is you can make it to fit your heat index and not really lose any of the flavor. So enjoy trying this week's recipes.
I have a nice hot-sweet salsa for you in "Mango Salsa." Then, because you usually get rice and beans with your entree, I have "Mexican Rice" for you to try. Many people have trouble making this dish. This one is easy and tasty. So enjoy "Cinco de Mayo" this year and "Happy Cooking."