Some people journey to Mexico on Cinco de Mayo. However, this is not the case for 99.9% of American college students currently awaiting finals. (Though if you do make the trip, Yelp just expanded their range into Mexico so check that out! Me gusta.)
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which falls September 16, but a celebration of a May 5, 1862 battle victory called the Battle of Puebla against invading French forces. It symbolizes their strong resistance to European domination as well as lasting freedom from foreign rule. The holiday spread to southern California in the early 1900s and became popular across the US and the food industry. A variety of street foods are eaten to celebrate the fiesta, which includes music and dancing alongside delicious food.
Now, the National Taco Council recommends eating a taco on Monday (duh) but I’ve got you guys covered with some more creative ideas. Away we go…
1. Salsa and Tortilla Chips
You can’t go wrong with this classic combo. Just head to your local market and grab a family-size bag of chips and a jar of salsa so you can share with friends. If you have cheese, chili, jalapeños or random veggies lying around, then turn it into nachos. Easy.
Simple and straightforward, and much easier than enchiladas. You can even make these in your college’s dining hall.
Bud Light conveniently makes sweet and refreshing margaritas in flavors like lime and strawberry. Alternatively, head out to a nearby Mexican food hotspot to get some classic margaritas.
4. Mole Poblano
Mole poblano, a Cinco de Mayo special, is a dish made from turkey with a dried chile and chocolate infused sauce. The dish was made in Puebla, where the commemorated battle took place. Moles (not the rodent, of course) are very labor intensive to prepare so head out to a Mexican restaurant to try it out- I highly recommend Oyamel if you’re in Washington DC. Enjoy with rice and veggies.
5. Custard or Pudding
You can pretend it’s flan, since most people probably won’t have the time, ingredients or kitchen tools to make flan. Flan is a pudding-like custard dessert that has roots throughout Latin America.
Don sombreros, maracas and serapes if you wish. Dance in the streets, celebrate and have fun!