Dia De LOS MUERTOS
It is very popular to celebrate Halloween on October 31st, but there is another celebration that begins the day after. The celebrations begins on November 1st which focuses on All Saints, and continues until November 2nd which is the Day of the Dead and is celebrated mainly in Mexico. Día de Los Muertos is a celebration of life (despite it’s name), it celebrates and remembers loved ones who have passed away. It is celebrated by creating altars that are all unique and usually include the loved one’s favorite food, pictures, personal artifacts, anything that helps represent and remember them. One of our interns, Stephanie, sets up an altar for her great grandparents and her dog. She adds some of their favorite things like bread and treats along with their pictures all on a colorful cloth. On these days the cemetery will be cleaned and will be covered in marigolds, these flowers are said to create a connection with loved ones and are placed on many graves. Many people spend their day at the cemetery, but it is no sad occasion, they bring food, music and will eat and spend time there in order to be with their loved ones and remember. It is a very bright and colorful celebration with parades and small fairs happening in the towns. It is a very traditional and special way to remember those we have lost and for a couple days honor and connect with them.
For Día de Los Muertos, there isnt a universal list of food that is made to celebrate. Everything is unique because every person will make food according to what their loved one loved to eat. Some favorites are mole, pozole, and tamales but it can range from soups to birria to anything. Although there are some special treats that are made for this occasion. Pan de Muerto is a bread which has a tangy flavor to it and another is sugar skulls. People will make sugar skulls and decorate them with icing to place on the altar as an offering. The different types of food used to celebrate this holiday are endless and Don Juan Chiles has many ingredients that can help make your food extra special to commemorate a lost loved one.
Pan de muerto
The name of this loaf of bread translates to bread of the dead. This bread is used as an offering, it is placed at the altars created for loved ones and a popular dessert for everyone celebrating. The design on the loafs are meant to look like bones and can be decorated with sugar, orange glaze, or any sweet toppings you like! It is a fairly simple treat to make and on Día de Los Muertos most families make their own!
- Add 1/4 cup of milk, butter and water in a saucepan on medium heat until butter has melted
- In a large mixing bowl add 1 cup of flour, yeast, anise and salt. The add the warmed milk mixture slowly and start mixing
- While mixing add the eggs one by one and mix them in along with the orange zest (Continue to add flour until the dough is not sticky and is soft)
- Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until it is soft and elastic (If your dough is too wet add flour, if it is too dry add water)
- Place the dough in a bowl or in a sheet pan and cover it with a dish towel in order to let it rise, make sure it is placed somewhere warm with no breeze. Let it double in size (this can take up to one hour)
- Begin creating the portions and sizes of the round loaves you would like, but remember to leave some dough aside for the details that go on top of the loaves
- Create small balls and place them at the top of each loaf, you can help attach the ball to the loaf using a little water. The make long strips of dough and lay them from the top of the loaf to the bottom. (You have creative freedom when choosing the width of these)
- After applying all of the decorative dough designs, let the dough rest again for 30-40 minutes
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown
- After taking it out of the oven you can decorate by sprinkling it with sugar!