Día de Los Muertos is here, and maybe this is your first time putting up an altar for a loved one that passed away recently or maybe you are trying to get in touch with your Mexican heritage. What ever the case is, we are going to go over the most traditional ofrenda foods. Let’s face it food is an integral part of Mexican culture; it is so good that even the dead come back once a year to enjoy the delicious flavors.
We are going to start out with Pan de Muertos (Bread of the Dead). This is a must in your altar. The bread can be made fresh or you can visit your local panaderia. It is very popular during this time, so you won’t have a hard time finding it. The Pan de Muertos along with all the other food is an offering made to the departed. It is believed that when the spirit returns for day of the dead, it can be nourished by the essence of the bread or any other offerings that are left for it. The bread is special, because of its shape. There are different many stories of what it represents, but most people will tell you that it represents the bones and the tears of the dead.
Mole is the next item on our list. Who doesn’t love mole? Especially with some nice warm tortillas or with a tamal. Mole is super traditional, and we have so many varieties. There is mole poblano, verde, negro, amarillo and so many more. I know mole is hard to make and it consist of so many ingredients, but there are easier recipes like the classic Dona Maria or Teloloapan. I personally mix both of this sauce with some chile guajillo and than add a little sugar. I also follow this amazing page on Instagram call Mexico In My Kitchen they have some great recipes.
Tamales, Tamales, Tamales! I first have to say that tamales are the best and just like mole there is a huge variety of tamales, but I personally think tamales take the crown for versatility. To me tamales are Mexico's oldest dish. A dish that is so old, and so sacred that the Aztecs and various indigenous groups considered it the food of the gods. They also considered themselves to be people of corn and so tamales played a large part in the culture. You can still see the major influence of corn in modern Mexican cuisine. Corn is so important that Mexican farmers have been cultivating it for over 8,000 years and have 64 recognized strains. That to me is amazing no wonder we use corn in everything.
Our last traditional food for ofrendas is Mexican Hot Chocolate. Which is technically not a food, but a drink. A very popular drink that also dates all the way back to the Aztecs. Many families put up a nice warm cup of chocolate and water, because water is considered to be essential due to the long journey here and the souls are thirsty. Luckily, we have chocolate abuelita which is super easy to make. So, the next time you want to put up an altar you know some tricks and can save some time to actually spend it with your family and enjoy the celebration of Día de Los Muertos.