As I was preparing to share my two favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes with you, I couldn’t help but wonder exactly what is “Cinco de Mayo?” I mean, I know it’s the 5th of May and it’s a Mexican holiday. But, what’s so special about the 5th of May? Cinco de Mayo is actually the date Mexican’s observe to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
You can find lots of information on Cinco de Mayo and the Battle of Puebla online. It’s sort of a David and Goliath story with the battle taking place between Mexico and France (under Napoleon III). Obviously, Mexico won this battle, Goliath was slain and the rest is history. Can you imagine Mexico under French rule? Me either.
Now, back to my two favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes. I love Mexican food. (Although, I’m not a big rice fan.) When Lenny and I went to Mexico for Spring break last year (you can read all about it here), we got to taste authentic Mexican food. I was sure I would love it, but the big surprise was how much Lenny loved the food.
What really makes good Mexican food? Fresh ingredients. When we were in Mexico, we drank fresh orange juice that was literally fresh pressed from the orange grove out back of the fruit stand. We also ate fresh seafood from the Caribbean Sea. We ate Pico de Gallo that was made with locally grown tomatoes, onions, cilantro and limes. I mean, real fresh, real good, authentic Mexican food. What’s not to like?
Well, Lenny thought the Mexican food would be too spicy for his liking, but that wasn’t the case at all. When you use fresh ingredients, herbs and spices, the flavors of the ingredients all meld together in a perfect Cinco de Mayo worthy fiesta!
My Two Favorite Cinco de Mayo Recipes
My two favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes are Pico de Gallo and Guacamole. I just couldn’t imagine a Mexican fiesta without these two dishes. In fact, if you learn how to make Pico de Gallo, you’ll learn how to make other tasty Mexican dishes that incorporate this basic Mexican dish.
Pico de Gallo
I love Guacamole! It has quickly become my favorite Mexican or Cinco de Mayo dish. You can also find the recipe for Guacamole here on the blog. Our youngest daughter has even started making guacamole. It is just so flavorful and the avocados add a perfect texture. I’ve made guacamole numerous times since Lenny and I went to Mexico. And, I must say, I love my version most! A couple of tips for really good guacamole are to use ripe but not over ripe avocados and lime juice. Lime juice makes a HUGE difference in the taste of the guacamole – much better than lemon juice. Oh, yeah, salt is another key ingredient. Trust me, you’ll use more salt than you think you should and the lime just really melds all those fantastic flavors together.
Of course, there are lots and lots of other Mexican dishes, like The Best Enchilada Sauce Recipe Ever or Shrimp Stuffed Avocados. And if you’re looking for some more avocado inspiration, be sure to check out my 7 Best Avocado Recipes.
I’d love to hear all about it! Til next time…