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Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Like a Local Not a Taco in Sight

Ah, yes, Cinco de Mayo.

Many associate this holiday with boozy drinks and endless chips and salsa. While that is all good and delicious, it doesn’t necessarily fall in line with the traditions and origins of the holiday. We’ve decided to do the research and get the facts straight – as well as the recipes. Find out how to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style!

The Backstory 

Contrary to to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the Mexican Independence Day. Rather, it is celebrated in honor of the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 (“Cinco de Mayo” means “Fifth of May,” #TheMoreYouKnow). Thus, Cinco de Mayo is mainly celebrated in the Mexican region of Puebla.

A little about Puebla – some consider it the gastronomic capital of Mexico. This means that they take their food very seriously, and they are good at it.

What better way to celebrate Puebla and Cinco de Mayo than by cooking up some delicious food? We’ve found some of the most coveted recipes from both Puebla and other regions of Mexico for you to cook up tomorrow. Skip the crowds and make some of these tasty recipes – some of which may not even show up on the menu at your local Mexican restaurant.

The Lineup

These foods may not be the healthiest options, however, they are worth trying because of how flavorful and creative they are. Bonus – most of these recipes call for fresh ingredients, so this is a much healthier cheat meal than a trip to Taco Bell.

Mole Poblano

mole-poblano

Difficulty level: Hard, but so worth it

Mole Poblano is the most popular dish to eat in Puebla on Cinco de Mayo. It is absolutely delicious, but be warned, it is very challenging to make and the sauce alone requires 23 ingredients (at least for this recipe). Up for the challenge? Find the recipe here.

Chalupas Poblanas

cinco de mayo

Difficulty level: Easy

Not your Taco Bell’s chalupa. Chalupas Poblanas are a traditional street food from Puebla that are easy to whip up and allow you to be creative with toppings. Check out the recipe here.

Chiles en Nogada

cinco de mayo

Difficulty level: Medium

This dish is iconic and traditionally served on Mexico’s actual Independence Day (the colors of the Chiles en Nogada mimic the colors on the Mexican flag). Even though Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day (remember), it is still an excellent way to get in the spirit. Click here for the recipe to make this flavorful dish.

Pueblan-Style Cemita 

Cinco de Mayo

Difficulty level: Easy

Take your sandwich to a whole other level with the Pueblan-Style Cemita, locally known in Puebla as ‘cemas.’ Locals fill these rolls with avocado, quesillo (Oaxacan cheese), pork milanesa, papalo, onion, and spices. Get your cemas on here.

Camote

Cinco de Mayo

Difficulty level: Easy

Long before sweet potato fries were a fad in the United States, the Mayans were enjoying this delicious starch daily. Mexican camote is the perfect sweet side dish to add to your meal. Check out the recipe here.

Pescado Rodrigo

Cinco de Mayo

Difficulty level: Medium

Fish lovers unite! This recipe is one of the most adored in Mexico City, for good reason. The flavorful fish is very versatile; wrap it up in a warm corn tortilla or serve it with other Mexican side dishes (like camote!). Get cookin’ here.

Calabacitas con Queso 

cinco de mayo

Difficulty level: Easy

The best way to eat your vegetables is smothered in cheese, right? This side dish – consisting of zucchini, garlic, tomatoes, and scallions, is a perfect addition to any meal and allows you to get creative with flavors. Check out how to make it (with a delicious cilantro-cotija pesto) here.

Now you are armed with the tools to make the most delicious (and accurate) Cinco de Mayo meal ever! Be sure to share your finished products with us on Instagram and Twitter and tag us (@66Audio). Notice a recipe missing on this list? We’d love to hear what you like to make on Cinco de Mayo.