Did you know that the Cinco de Mayo holiday does not in fact celebrate Mexico’s independence, but instead celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French army (led by Napoleon III) at the Battle of Puebla?
If not, don’t worry, you know now and can join the celebration celebrating the nation that is home to some of our favorite foods! So what Mexican foods should you include in your Cinco de Mayo celebration this year? Here are our top picks:
Guacamole (& Chips)
Obvious, but a necessity. In our humble opinion, a large bowl of guacamole is an absolute prerequisite for a successful Cinco de Mayo party. Make sure to stock up on avocados a few days before your shindig to make sure that you don’t get stuck with the not-yet-ripe avocados, which are virtually impossible to turn into guacamole. Finely chop some onion, garlic and cilantro, throw in some lime juice and season generously with salt and you’ll end up with an irresistible chip dip.
Move aside, Taco Bell. This year, celebrate Cinco de Mayo with food you might actually find in Mexico. Shredded meat, pickled onions and cotija cheese make for a delicious and authentic Cinco de Mayo main course. The night before, slice red onions and soak in vinegar and a bit of sugar. The morning of, throw some pork or chicken in your crockpot with some Mexican seasonings and broth and let it cook all day so that it almost shreds itself. Grab some corn or flour tortillas, set out your fixings and dinner is served!
Mexican Street Corn
Continuing with the authentic, street-style food theme, whip up some super easy, super delicious street corn. It’s best on the grill, but you can take the corn off the cob and make it in a sauté pan as well. You’ll need sour cream, mayo, (more) cotija cheese, chili powder, lime and cilantro to turn regular old corn into Mexican Street Corn.
Step away from the generic mixers on the bottom shelf at the grocery store and head straight for the produce section. Get yourself a large bag of limes, you’ll need them! A true margarita doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, but it does need to have fresh ingredients. Paired with your favorite tequila and a little bit of triple sec, you’ll be serving up tasty margaritas to your friends and family in no time!
All celebrations need to end with a sweet treat, so look no further than the humble churro, which is essentially fried dough. While you could make them from scratch, it can be laborious and, frankly, messy. So, no judgments if you pick yours up from the freezer aisle! To make up for skipping the deep frying work, put out a few different dips (milk chocolate, caramel, etc) and some sprinkles to make dessert extra special.
This Cinco de Mayo, make sure your guests leave your fiesta with a full belly and a renewed appreciation of the impact of Mexican culture on the world.