Why The History of Cinco de Mayo is More Than Tacos and Tequila
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It’s not like we need any reason to indulge in a pitcher of margaritas, but somehow, Cinco de Mayo has become associated with tequila and therefore our pass to partake in all things viewed as fiesta culture. But if you’re going to participate in the holiday, you should at the very least understand the meaning of Cinco.

“Most people believe that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, but that is not true. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over France on May 5, 1862 at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War,” says Culinary Director of Mexico’s Velas Resorts, Michel Mustiere, who helped spearhead upcoming Cinco events at the properties. “At Velas Resorts, we are going to have special themed parties, tasting menus and fiestas with featured items typical of the state of Puebla.”

Puebla City was a strategic location just outside of the capital of Mexico City. And at the time of the battle, Mexico was an independent nation that was liberated from Spain just decades earlier. With the aim to colonize Mexico, the French attacked Puebla City. And Cinco de Mayo honors the May 5, 1862 Battle of Puebla, which was an underdog win by the new Mexico nation against France’s vicious forces. Though the French invaders would eventually take control of the city of Puebla and the nation’s capital, the Cinco victory was a symbol of pride, resilience and a demand for respect from European colonizing powers.

So now that you know the history of Cinco, go enjoy those margaritas. Take that, colonizers!

Mustiere says antojitos (Mexican street snacks, such as elote, sopes, tacos and tlayuda) are typical celebratory foods. So, check out Grand Velas’s recipe for Mexican chicken and street corn. And of course, don’t forget the tequila!

Mexican Chicken with Street Corn

Ingredients (10 people)

10 pieces               boneless chicken (6 oz each)

½ cup                    olive oil

2 tablespoon          fresh thyme

10 tablespoon        lemon juice

3½ tablespoon       garlic, peeled

3½ tablespoon       fresh cracked pepper

4 tablespoon          bacon, chopped
4 tablespoon          lard

3½ tablespoon       red onion, chopped
2½ tablespoon       ​​epazote leaves, julienned

2½ tablespoon       serrano chili, minced
9 ounces                goat cheese, crumbled

9 ounces                cotija cheese, grated

2 cups                    charred white corn

                              salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Combine olive oil, thyme, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender. Marinate the chicken with the mixture for at least 1 hour. In a pan, brown the chicken on both sides for 2 minutes. Remove from pan and place on baking sheet to finish cooking in the oven for 5 minutes. Warm the lard in a pan and sauté the bacon until golden. Add the onion, chili and epazote and cook for two minutes. Add the cheeses and toss with charred corn. Season to taste.

Plate the chicken on top of the corn.

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