It’s almost that time of year again for margaritas, sombreros and delicious Mexican cuisine. Cinco de Mayo is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican pride and heritage. The celebration originated in the Mexican-American communities of the American West, Southwest and Northwest in the 1860’s. It is a much bigger holiday in the United States than in Mexico, where the holiday is called El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla). Although it is not a national holiday in Mexico, it is considered an official holiday in the State of Puebla, schools are closed nationwide and there is no work allowed in Veracruz.
So, whether you are figuring out what to cook for a Mexican-themed party you will be hosting or where to go for the most authentic Mexican fare, we’ve got the top 10 classic Cinco de Mayo foods you should consider eating—or making!
10. Churros w/ Chocolate Dipping Sauce– Sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, this delicious snack is a fried-dough pastry that can easily be made at home with 5 or more simple ingredients. Plus, throw chocolate in the mix and who can resist!
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9. Mexican Cornbread– What sets Mexican cornbread apart from the rest is its abundance of flavors, especially from the mix of cheeses like pepper jack and cheddar. The creamed corn makes the bread extra moist, and if you’re looking for more spice, just add in some jalapeno peppers!
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8. Enchiladas– Enchiladas are a great way to bring a little taste of Mexican to the table. The great thing about enchiladas is that they can be filled with just about anything including meat, beans, cheese, potatoes, vegetables, seafood or even a combination. Check out this chicken enchilada recipe w/ that special chili pepper sauce!
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7. Tostadas– Tostada is a Spanish word that means “toasted.” In Mexico it is the name of different local dishes that are toasted or use a toasted main ingredient. The chosen ingredients lay on top of the friend corn tortilla– see how to make California Avocado Shrimp Tostadas below!
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6. Mexican Grilled Corn– This type of corn is known as street corn (or esquite), and it is called this because it is a very popular street food in Mexico—and in cities like New York during the warmer months. It is smothered with chili powder, mayonnaise, lime and cojita cheese. But, you don’t have to go to a street fair to get this corn on the cob because you can make it right in your own home!
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5. Carnitas– This means “little meats” and it is made of pork which has been roasted or braised until tender. You can enjoy this traditional Mexican dish on its own or use it as a filling in some other Mexican favorites like burritos, fajitas, tamales or tacos (see below).
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4. Nachos– This Mexican dish of tortilla chips with melted cheese is traditionally served as a snack. But, when you add more ingredients like tomatoes, lettuce, black olive, jalapenos and your favorite meat—like loaded beef—it’s enough to eat as a meal!
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3. Guacamole– The best way to make a good, homemade guacamole is to follow a few key tips: Choose good, right avocados, don’t forget the lime and jalapenos, don’t skimp on the fresh herbs and seasonings, don’t overmix and don’t let it turn brown. See below for a great homemade guacamole recipe!
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2. Salsa– This popular snack is easy to get wrong when making it at home. But, there’s 3 ways to ensure that you get it right: No big chunks, no vinegar and lots and lots of cilantro! Check the pin below to see how to make great homemade restaurant style salsa.
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1. Margaritas – What makes this cocktail so popular is its versatility. You can have it frozen, on the rocks, flavored, straight up, with or without salt on the rim and as strong as you want it! For those lazy days in the summer where all you want to do is sit out in the sun and leave, here is the best blender classic lime margarita recipe!