MAKING PAN DE MUERTO IN ASHEVILLE, NC!
Halloween is for me the beginning of the holiday season, in fact, this day is my favorite holiday in the U.S.A. No doubt!
As someone that has lived in the States for many years, I can honestly say I love the playful spirit of Halloween, it is for me the closest thing to the spirit of celebration you experience in Latin America.
Ok, with this said, today I want to share with you all a tradition that has both, Indigenous and European roots. You see, Día de Muertos falls during All Souls Day and this is no coincidence.
Last weekend, I was lucky to spend Saturday with my good friend Zorro, his wife Dilcia, Martin, his wife Misty, Luis (my tocayo), his wife Astrid, Arturo and his wife Fernanda. These guys were kind enough to invite me to make PAN DE MUERTO / BREAD FOR THE DEAD with them, and I had a blast!
Now, way before the Spanish arrived in México, our native ancestors were celebrating their ancestors with a few rituals, some of them included human sacrifice and the offering of TLACOTONALES.
WHAT IS A TLACOTONAL?
Today, it is the name of a red bread traditionally offered to the dead in Puebla, México. Originally, TLACOTONAL comes from the Nahuatl language, and it means RIPPED FOR THE SUN, and it was the act of sacrifice by offering human hearts to the sun god.
Shit! Our ancestors were not messing around, and as history goes, the Spanish priests were not big fans of this tradition, therefore they introduced the idea of celebrating ALL SOULS DAY by offering this red bread and Hojaldras instead.
Well, I had a blast hanging out with my PAISANOS and we also made HOJALDRAS, BOLILLOS and TORTAS. Now, something else you should know is the variety of bread in México is rich and depending on the area of the country you will see strong Spanish and French influence in our cuisine, it is also important to highlight that PUEBLA, has a strong LEBANESE influence in their cuisine and we even have a town were the first language is ITALIAN.
You see, multiculturalism is everywhere and for this reason I’m happy to share with you all, that Asheville is multicultural, ecelctic and 3 of the people who are part of this video are AWESOME CHEFS in downtown Asheville.
Stay tuned, because you are going to see more of what makes ZORRO, his wife DILCIA, and his brother ARTURO extraordinary CHEFS IN ASHEVILLE.
Next bilingual blog, I’m going to share the work of another bad ass Chef from PUEBLA in ASHEVILLE. MACARIO JIMENEZ!