[NEW] 16 Traditional Day of the Dead Food & Drink | day of the dead – Pickpeup

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Mexicos’s Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos is an ebullient holiday, occurring from November 1 to November 2, that honors the lives of loved ones who have passed.

One of the most sacred customs of the holiday is the preparation of altars that serve as a tribute to the deceased. They’re decorated with things that the person loved during their life, and food is a crucial component of the altars specifically and of Day of the Dead as a whole.

“During this time, people adorn these special altars—known as ofrendas—with cempasúchil (marigold) flowers, burning copal (incense), fresh pan de muerto (bread of the dead), fruits, candles, sugar or chocolate skulls, photographs and mementos of the departed,” says Juan Aguirre, Executive Director of the Mexican culture non-profit Mano a Mano. “The food varies depending on the region.”

The holiday showcases the breadth of Mexican cuisine and recipes, with a mix of savory dishes, sweet treats like sugar skulls which are especially popular with children, bright colors, and spices depending on where in the country you’re celebrating. Many of these traditional Day of the Dead foods are also made by Mexican communities in places like Los Angeles.

“This tradition is rooted in the native Mexican belief that life on earth is a preparation for the next world and of the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with the dead,” Aguirre says.

“It’s not a funeral. It’s not morbid, and it’s not about being spooky. It’s about joy and color and flavor and celebration, all the mixed emotions,” James Beard Award-winning chef Pati Jinich tells Oprah Daily. “It’s a very Mexican thing to have extreme sadness with extreme joy at the same time.”

Whether you’re trying to plan your own authentic Day of the Dead celebration or simply hoping to learn more about this sacred Mexican holiday, read on to explore what traditional foods are eaten and the culinary customs that bring Día de los Muertos to life.

Pan de Muerto

capula, mexico   october 31  a woman poses near the traditional pan de muerto dead bread during the day of the dead at panteon municipal on october 31, 2015 in capula, mexico the three day holiday is used to pray for and remember family and friends who have died photo by pedro gonzalez castillolatincontent via getty images

Pedro Martin Gonzalez Castillo

The most universal Day of the Dead item is the Pan de Muerto (or Bread of the Dead). “It’s the one thing that’s never missing,” says Jinich, who explains that it’s found all over the country, and that in recent years its popularity has led to it being more readily available throughout the fall. This “spongey, yeast-based egg bread” is now available with Nutella and whipped cream, though Jinich’s preferred recipe incorporates orange blossom water.

“You used to be able to only get it a week before Day of the Dead and then during the three days of celebration,” says Jinich, who can be seen on Pati’s Mexican Table. “But people love it so much that in the last five or six years you can find it from the end of August through September and October.”

Pan de Muerto is both made in the home and at bakeries around the country, with every baker approaching it in their own way. It’s also known as pan dulce or sweet bread.

Calabaza en Tacha

pumpkin, baked pumpkin with honey, pottery on a wooden background, rustic style, slices of pumpkin on a wooden board, vegetarianism, healthy food, baked in the oven vegetables with honey, minimalism, art

Lazartivan

Candied pumpkin is a Day of the Dead food primarily associated with the Yucatan Peninsula, but it’s popular around the country. Just like the holiday itself, calabaza en tacha has pre-Hispanic, Mayan roots.

Not unlike American candied yams, calabaza en tacha is made from pumpkin chunks, cinnamon, piloncillo cane sugar, and/or brown sugar. It’s often served with ice cream or cream, and it’s primarily a dessert dish.

Calaveras

mexican sugar skulls

Originally an offering to the god of the underworld during Mesoamerican times, calaveras (or sugar skulls) have been a Mexican staple for centuries. They’re molded from a sugar paste and, like pan de muerto, are carved into unique shapes and adorned with bold colors.

The shades are vibrant to fit with the joyous nature of the holiday, but they are not chosen frivolously. The red stands for blood, purple for pain, and yellow for marigolds or nature, and orange for the sun. Sometimes, the name of the deceased is even carved on the skull itself and placed on their tribute altar as an offering.

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The word calaveras also has another meaning in the Day of the Dead context. It’s the name of a kind of satirical poem that can either be about the dead or the living, but spares neither from biting sarcasm.

Tamales

maria rosa elena and her family are seen during the manufacturing process of the traditional mexican food tamales that are cooked to celebrate candlemas day candelaria on february 2, candlemass day candelaria is a christian celebration where god children are taken to the churches to bless and eat the traditional tamales made of leaf corn and dough on february 1, 2020 in mexico city, mexico photo by eyepixnurphoto via getty images

NurPhoto

Made by placing a variety of different fillings inside of a corn husk and steaming it, tamales are a ubiquitous Mexican dish, but the specifics can vary greatly by location. Aguirre notes that in Michoacán, people eat uchepos (corn tamales) and corundas (triangular tamales). In the southern state of Chiapas, tamales are filled with grasshoppers, which are used in myriad ways in Mexican cooking.

Jinich says that growing up in Mexico City, she primarily ate chicken and salsa verde tamales around the holiday.

Along with the corn drink atole (which we’ll touch on shortly), tamales are regularly eaten during the long nights that come during Día de los Muertos celebrations.

Mole

mole poblano

Tony Hutchings

This dark, deeply flavored sauce is another Mexican staple, but it originates in the state of Oaxaca, which is known as “Land of seven moles.” Specifically, mole negro is the kind that’s made around the holiday. Its intense flavor comes from burning and blackening the chiles and their seeds.

Like any holiday dish, every family has its own unique mole recipe, and it’s incorporated differently into every Day of the Dead celebration.

Alegrias candy

alegrias

Ericka Sanchez

Often made of amaranth, raisins, assorted nuts, and a sugary bond like honey, alegrias—which means “joys”—are a crispy traditional candy. Ericka Sanchez, who runs the blog Nibbles and Feasts and was born in Mexico, likens the sweet treat to a take on the energy bar. She explains to Oprah Daily that they’re eaten year round, but are often molded into a skull shape for Day of the Dead.

“Just like the sugar skulls, they could be placed on the altar as an offering, but then those are also treats the kids can have. Kids often make them during the celebrations as well, kind of like Easter eggs,” she says.

Pepitorias, made of pumpkin seeds and melted sugar, and often found in Mexican street markets, is another popular candy eaten at this time. You can find recipes for traditional alegrias, chocolate alegrias (or chocolate amaranth calaveritas), and pepitorias in Sanchez’s upcoming cookbook, , set to release on October 12.

Pozole

washington, dc    chicken posole verde
photographed in washington, dc photo by deb lindsey for the washington post via getty images

The Washington Post

This savory stew mixes hominy and meat (frequently pork), and is seasoned with garlic, cumin, diced green or red chili peppers, and various other spices. Though it’s eaten around the country, its popularity around Day of the Dead is tied to a specific location.

“If you’re in Mexico City, you’ll find pozole,” says Jinich.

Commonly, the kind eaten on Day of the Dead is the extra spicy variety, with an abundance of red chiles to give it additional heat.

Atole

atole de chocolate, mexican traditional beverage and bread, made with cinnamon and chocolate in mexico

Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez

This non-alcoholic, corn-based drink is commonly used for dunking pan de muertos. It’s made from masa harina flour, and has roots dating back to the Aztecs.

It’s technically a porridge, but it’s consumed as a beverage, and is popular after dinner or with breakfast, especially during Day of the Dead.

And since it is sweetened with cinnamon, brown sugar, and sometimes chocolate to make it champurrado, it’s a perfect beverage for the winter months ahead.

After a long day of eating and celebrating the beauty of life and the poignancy of death, a warm cup of atole is an ideal nightcap.

Hot Chocolate

cacao fruit, cacao seed, ​and chocolate preparation utensils

from the cacao fruit the clay glasses with the mexican wood mouline the wood stick on top

©fitopardo

You’ll never go back to the traditional way once you’ve had a Mexican hot chocolate—it’s the creamier, spicier relative of the warming winter beverage we have in the U.S. Made with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper, it has a unique kick, and is less overtly sweet.

One of the keys to preparation is cooking it low and slow, allowing the ingredients to really mix. It’s a favorite to accompany pan de muerto, and makes a great drink for dunking.

Caramel Flan

flanflanflan

John Block

Flan has been in Central and Latin America for over 500 years, and it’s one of the most popular desserts in Mexico both year-round and especially during the holiday. The simple, straightforward recipe makes it a favorite of both home cooks and comida corrida restaurants, which serve quick, simple meals.

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The eggy custard is prepared and then doused in a generous helping of caramel. If you’re at a big Day of the Dead celebration, odds are you can find a local street vendor selling flan.

Sopaipillas

Another dessert option, sopaipillas are a fried dough dish, in the same family as the beignet. The toppings are simple ingredients like honey, cinnamon, and chocolate sauce, not overpowering the warm, chewy bread.

Sopaipillas have been around for centuries, though they likely originated in New Mexico. Still, they’re now recognized as a pastry appropriate for the holiday.

Milk Fudge

mexican candy traditional culture, made with goat milk, syrup and pecan, fudge,homemade, leche quemada, cajeta, mexican dessert

MiguelMalo

Also called jamoncillo de leche, Mexican milk fudge is another sweet treat served on Day of the Dead. It typically features ingredients like chopped pecans and cinnamon, as well as cow or goat milk.

Though generally a brownish color, milk fudge can be made in many bright varieties, meaning that it has decorative utility on top of being delicious.

Tortilla Soup

homemade tortilla soup

Lew Robertson

This spicy soup, known locally as Sopa Azteca, is perfect for staying warm as the weather turns. There are infinite variations on it, but its flavor usually comes from a combination of tomatoes, tomatillos, chipotle and chile peppers, cumin, and cilantro. The tortilla strips sprinkled on top provide a crunchy textural contrast to the rich, smooth soup.

The recipe often calls for meat, specifically chicken, but can easily be made vegetarian.

Pulque

oaxaca, mexico   someone holds a cup of a traditional drink pulque also known as octli its made from fermented agave and contains a low level of alcohol

Ari Beser

This classic beverage is made from agave, so it’s related to tequila, but has a flavor profile all its own. This staple of Day of the Dead rituals is a little harsh but can be mixed with fruit for a more pleasant experience.

As the drink has grown in popularity, pulquerías have popped up in Mexico City— particularly trendy bars that specialize in the beverage. But pulque has retained its historical significance even as it has gone mainstream. Pulque is sometimes called “The nectar of the Gods,” because it is said to be the blood of Aztec god Mayahuel.

Marigold Tequila

near puerto vallarta, jalisco, mexico     wall of different tequila bottles at mister tequila tasting gallery     image by © holger leuecorbis

Holger Leue

Marigolds are with Day of the Dead, and the bright yellow flowers are often dried and used to make tequila drinks. The ingredients are bottled together and infused, creating warm, gold tequila that is sometimes flavored with things like cinnamon.

The flowers (and items that use them) are often said to show spirits the way to their altar through the marigold scent.

Those who prefer their liquor mixed can find different cocktail recipes inspired by or utilizing marigold tequila.

Horchata

iced cappuccino  in

Cavan Images

One of Mexico’s most famous beverages is the horchata, which is made from soaked rice and sweetened with cinnamon and sugar, typically served cold. Despite being linked to Mexican cuisine, the horchata we know is actually just one of many similar beverages that popped up in places like Puerto Rico and Ecuador. They’re based on a drink from Northern Africa dating back to 2400 B.C., which was spread by the Spanish.

Horchatas can also be made with liquor like rum or whiskey to give it an extra kick.

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How to Do a Day of the Dead Makeup Base | Special FX Makeup


Watch more How to Do Special Effects Makeup videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/508365HowtoDoaDayoftheDeadMakeupBaseSpecialFXMakeup

Now we’re going to do a Day of the Dead makeup. This is one of my most favorite makeups because it can be so intricate or just a general, beautiful makeup. This makeup is based off of the Day of the Dead sugar skulls.
So the first step is we’re going to add a base. Because it’s a skeleton, it’s always a little bit lighter. Although, you can always take artistic and creative liberties. So I’m going to put a foundation on her that’s lighter than her skin color. You can do a stark white if you like. I prefer the aesthetic of something more subtle. I’m just going to take my Beauty Blender, my favorite sponge ever, and I’m going to dab this all over her face just to lighten her up. Just apply the base all over. I like kind of a thin transparent white, but you can do it however you like. And I’m going over the eyes. You’ll have a lot of different options. You can make it like a mask and end the makeup here, or you can extend it down to your throat, or you can do your whole body.
One thing that’s good to do is to paint the ears, just so they don’t look unfinished and like they’re not part of the face. So I’m just going to dab a little color here on the ears. Now, I’m going to go over the lips a little bit, too. If there’s any nooks and crannies you can’t get with the sponge, you can use a small brush. I’m going to use this little blendy brush, but you can use any brush you like. I’m going to go around the nostrils, up under the nose, and look up, I’m going to go under the eyes. Then I want this to come up into the hair line. Again, that’s personal preference. And that’s step one.

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One Strange Rock Day of the Dead


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