Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

"Every year thousands of Americans mistakenly refer to Cinco De Mayo as Mexico's Independence Day." Joe Baca.

If you're unsure of what this Mexican holiday celebrates, here's a brief summary. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

It's a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo is also celebrated throughout the state of Puebla with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico and some U.S. cities with high Mexican populations.

It is not Mexico's Independence Day, which is September 16. For more information on Cinco de Mayo see

Okay, now that we've had our history lesson, let's move on to something fun! Since today celebrates a Mexican holiday, I thought it would be cool to talk about something Mexican and romantic. Like Water for Chocolate immediately came to mind.

I've never read Mexican author Laura Esquivel's novel, but after doing some reseach for today's post, I want to, soon! It has not only romance, but recipes! That's my kind of book!

The story is divided into 12 sections named after months of the year, and each section begins with a Mexican recipe. Each chapter outlines the preparation of the dish and then relates it to an event in the protagonist's life.

The phrase "like water for chocolate" comes from the Spanish "como agua para chocolate." This is a common expression in some Spanish speaking countries, and of course, inspired the title of Esquivel's novel.

In Mexico, hot chocolate is made with water, but the chocolate doesn't melt until the water hits the boiling point. The saying "like water for chocolate" alludes to this. However, it's also a metaphor that can be used to describe a state of heated passion, or anger, such as "I'm boiling mad!"

For some, it's getting to be a little warm for hot chocolate, but I drink it all year long! Here's a link to what looks like a delicious recipe for Mexican hot chocolate from Tyler Florence:
Now off to write with a mug of hot chocolate. Hope you have some, too!

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