30% OFF Pride collection code: USAPRIDE! Free Shipping over $99

Cinco de Mayo: A Moment in Time to Celebrate Food and Culture

by Stephen Chavez May 04, 2012

There are some who see Cinco de Mayo as somewhat of a joke because they feel their culture is being exploited by U.S. beer and alcohol companies. I see it a bit differently and let me explain why.

You see, I grew up in Pico Rivera, Calif., a mostly working, middle-class, Mexican-American community that commemorated the holiday with parades down the main boulevard in the center of town. Every elementary, middle and high school in the district would host big Cinco de Mayo fiestas bringing together local families. During the day, the students learned the history of Cinco de Mayo and began the preparations for the big pachanga weeks ahead of time. 

I can still see my mom painting the signs for all of the booths and working on the paper flowers that were strung overhead the black top between classrooms. On the evening of the fiesta, you would hear mariachi music playing, and I would be filled with nervous anticipation of joining my fellow ballet folklorico dancers. But, what I remember the most after our performance on stage is the food prepared by all of our mothers. I would walk from food booth to food booth sampling tacos, taquitos, enchiladas, churros, raspados, burritos, and other dishes I had grown up eating in my own mother’s kitchen. 

As an adult, I still love to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, inviting family and friends over for micheladas, margaritas, and authentic Mexican cuisine. We do so fully knowing a few things.

We know the difference between May 5th and Sept. 16th (Mexican Independence Day). We know that Cinco de Mayo commemorates the 1862 military victory by a mostly Mexican Indian troop over the invading French army. We know that the holiday is not really celebrated in Mexico except for the state of Puebla where the battle took place. We also know it’s a moment in time to rekindle the spirit that my parents had during the Chicano Movement of the 1970s when they embraced the holiday for its David vs. Goliath storyline as motivation for civil rights struggles in California. 

We’d love to hear your Cinco de Mayo  memories. This year, sit back, listen to some Chente, invite family and friends over and prepare your own Mexican fiesta.

Oh, and leave your political “MECHA” sentiments at the door and imbibe in some beer and margaritas.  Try this delicious and simple margarita recipe made with agave syrup. So easy and really yummy. You won’t believe it.


Don Julio provided LatinoFoodie with these cute little bottles of tequila blanco. This recipe is so simple and easy to make.

Margarita with Agave Syrup


(2) jiggers of Don Julio Blanco tequila

2 limes, juiced

1 ½ tbsp. of agave syrup


Salt to rim glass


In a cocktail shaker, add the tequila, lime juice and agave syrup and ice. Shake well. Rim margarita glass with salt. Pour ingredients and enjoy!  Repeat as needed for a good pachanga.

The post Cinco de Mayo: A Moment in Time to Celebrate Food and Culture appeared first on Latino Foodie.

Stephen Chavez
Stephen Chavez


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Culinary

Maple Cream Easter Eggs

by Femme Fraîche March 20, 2016

Maple Cream Easter EggsEvery year when I was a kid, I could count on two things in my Easter basket – marshmallow eggs and maple cream eggs. Each served different purposes. The maple cream Easter eggs were my favorites and what I squealed over even more than finding plastic hidden eggs that held a dollar bill or a tiny toy. The marshmallow eggs were nothing I ever fancied and always found their way into the freezer for...

Continue Reading →

Salsa Casera Recipe – Super Hot and Delicious

by Stephen Chavez March 12, 2016

Salsa Casera or House Salsa is one of the simplest and most flavorful salsas that brings a robust heat and a smokey flavor from the charred tomatoes and chile peppers. Beware! I like heat and so this recipe has one dried Scorpion pepper added to the mix. Scorpion peppers are one of the hottest chiles in the world, with a mean heat of more than 1.2 million Scoville heat units (SHUs).

Using a...

Continue Reading →

Mushroom and Kale Egg Bake

by Femme Fraîche March 06, 2016

Mushroom and Kale Egg BakeAdulting is hard stuff. Sure, there are the big things like taking care of kids or parents, unexpected car and home repairs, dealing with awful work situations, but sometimes the littlest things feel the most difficult. These days, one of my biggest dilemmas is finding what to feed myself in the mornings that is convenient, nourishing, and so tasty I’ll be psyched to eat it a few days a week. This...

Continue Reading →