Cinco de Mayo or 5th of May is a Mexican holiday celebrating the victory of the Mexican army over the French army in the battle of Puebla on the 5th of May 1862. Contrary to popular belief in America and other parts, this is not the celebration of Mexican Independence from Spain, that happened on September 16 1810. Even though the meaning of the holiday is misunderstood by many people outside of Mexico, as a Mexican I find it very flattering and intriguing that this holiday is celebrated by so many people around the world. Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that is important and mostly celebrated only in certain regions of Mexico, like Puebla where the battle took place. My family is from another region on the opposite side of Mexico, so for us this was not a holiday we celebrated. I can remember being in America during this holiday and seeing and hearing my friends and business getting both excited and ready for Cinco de Mayo celebrations. To me this was a bit funny and a little strange but very flattering that non-Mexicans were wanting to celebrate. As for my family it was just another day with no special plans or thoughts. This melting and welcoming of different traditions is one of the things that make America unique. There are so many people from so many different backgrounds and eventually peoples traditions, celebrations and foods just become part of the mainstream norm in the US. In all of the different countries I have traveled to I have yet to see this melting of the different celebrations and traditions.
Wondering what the French think about this holiday? they don’t! A couple of Cinco de Mayos ago we were in Paris and I was giving our French friend a hard time about how the (underdog) Mexican army kicked the French army’s butt. He looked at me plainly and said “what are you talking about?” we gave him a quick history lesson and he said, “funny, is not something we really learn our know about here”,Too bad for me I wanted to rub it in 🙂
I think that for us Mexican expats far away from home and from the US, Cinco de Mayo has become more of a celebration or remembering our traditions and customs. We haven’t made special plans or have a party planned, though that could change, I know many people are looking for some Mexican recipes for their parties. Today I’m going to share my Guacamole recipe that you can use both as an appetizer or a topping for virtually any Mexican dish.
3 ripe Haas Avocados
1 large Roma Tomato
1 small white Onion ( can substitute with yellow onion)
1 small lime
1 fresh green Serrano or Jalapeno pepper ( add more for spicier version, I am using the only fresh pepper I found a red pepper)
big handful of Fresh Cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Large bowl and fork
1. Prepare the tomatoes, onion, chili pepper and cilantro by chopping all of them into small even bits, set aside. Peel and core the avocado then scoop out into a large bowl, next evenly pour the lime juice over the avocado and begin to mash the avocado with a fork. Continue mashing until it has broken down into a smooth consistency.
2. Mix in the tomato, onion, chili pepper and cilantro until all the ingredients have combined well. Lastly sprinkle in some salt and a little black pepper, again mix the guacamole to combine all of the ingredients. Done!
Guacamole can be served as an appetizer with plain tortilla corn chips for dipping. You can also use the guacamole as a topping on quesadillas , nachos or anything else you want to put it on top of.
If you are looking for other Mexican dinner ideas please visit my archives for more recipes. I also have a small collection of salsas you may want to also try for your Cinco de Mayo recipes.