As a ritual based, Latin American food holiday, el Dia de los Muertos has kept me busy. After stopping through some my favorite Sunset Park’s Mexican bakeries, I did my first piece for Edible Brooklyn’s Notable Edibles: Bread of the Dead. Visiting el Museo del Barrio, I was also able to cover this years altars, on display through November 11, for the Daily News Viva section. The Latin Kitchen posted my empanaditas de calabaza recipe and I made pumpkin atole for the Cooking Channel’s Devour. Lingering over baroque altars and autumnal spices seemed strange at times, but as always it was lovely visit.
Posts tagged ‘Day of the Dead’
I only really became aware of el Dia de los Muertos a couple of years ago but then it was love at first sight – the papel picado, the calacas that would be frightening if they weren’t so eerily famliar, the food welcoming spirits home as though no time has passed. There’s an easy tension to the way it’s celebrated – a balance between the pre-Columbian and post-Discovery, the corporeal and the spiritual, the seen and unseen – that’s lovely to live in for a couple of days. In the past, I’ve made pan de muerto but this year wanted to try empanaditas de calabaza. Families may start their vigil with the ofrenda, but they see the spirits back to the cemetery. Whatever I made, I wanted it to be filled with fall spices, comforting, and most importantly, portable. Read more
After last November, I promised myself that I would build my own altar for el Dia de los Muertos. Though widely observed in Mexico, I only discovered the holiday a couple of years ago. According to tradition, I should prepare some of the favorite foods of my dearly departed, lay them out in their honor, and wait for their promised return. The problem is that while I do have family living in Mexico that I adore, they are in fact living. I may dedicate an altar to welcome my Cuban grandmother’s spirit, but if she returned to find herself on top of a Mexican altar, I would have a lot of explaining to do. Wondering what I could possibly make to welcome her, I thought of hot chocolate. Read more
I first came across pan de muerto, or “bread of the dead” in the long stretch of Mexican bakeries and stores in Sunset Park. Placed on family altars for el Día de los Muertos (November 1 & 2) as an offering to their deceased loved ones, I asked everyone I knew how they’d celebrated in Mexico and whether they continued to do so in the States. Read more