Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for the fifth of May, is a date that is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862!
According to Wikipedia, Cinco de Mayo took on a significance in the United States beyond that in Mexico. The date is associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture and it does not signify Mexico’s Independence Day, as some may suggest. In fact, the holiday is virtually ignored in Mexico today, really only being celebrated in Puebla by military parades.
Taking Off in Popularity
In North America, the holiday didn’t gain national popularity until the mid-1980s when marketers, particularly beer companies, capitalized on the celebration and began to promote it as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the larger, more integrated, parts of the U.S. such as Los Angeles. Today, we celebrate the holiday with food, music, and specialty cocktails!
In celebration, straight from The Food Channel kitchens, and some of our favorite contributors, we’re here to help you craft your Cinco de Mayo fiesta! We have rounded up 19 of our favorite Cinco recipes and are excited to share our culturally-inspired food and cocktail recipes with all of you, our friends. ¡Viva México!
Marinating the chorizo in a dark Mexican beer renders the meat more delicate and adds a great malty flavor. Add it to any entree or eat it alone – so delicious!
Instead of purchasing a jug of premixed margaritas, treat your guests to a freshly made pitcher! Freshly-made margaritas add a refreshing and spirited touch to any party.
These two fresh and homemade salsa recipes, Avocado Red Onion and Mango Onion, are the perfect dips for your chips and make an amazing topping for any fish or chicken taco entree!
These “street” tacos are small, portable and handheld, with flavor influences from beer, orange juice, and fresh lime juice! Taco lovers often find their favorite tacos in trucks, now you can make them at home.
This summer cocktail combines the perfect balance of sour lime with the smooth richness of a fresh peach and kick of tequila.
A shrimp cocktail with a spicy Mexican twist, made with fresh ingredients such as avocados, onions, and jalapenos! This dish is a fiesta for the senses.
A huge trend in food right now is what we call “cultural diets,” where we are returning to our roots for fresh, wholesome ingredients. This Navajo taco is a great example.
Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew that is incredibly rich, flavorful and made with hominy, a Mexican corn that gives the stew an authentic flavor and crunch!
Creamy and cheesy, this is a dish the whole family will love; it’s got just enough kick from the chiles and it’s loaded with tender pulled chicken breast and gooey cheese.
This recipe for mouthwatering pork carnitas tacos serves 10, two tacos each, and is so packed with authentic flavor, you’ll have everyone begging for more.
Pan sauces typically require wine to lift up the browned bits from pan-seared meats and vegetables. For a Cinco de Mayo twist, this recipe uses a dark beer, Negra Modelo, which works wonders with skirt steak.
The margarita includes ingredients that should stimulate the four primary tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. This recipe achieves a nice balance of these tastes.
Fish tacos are one thing, but when you beer batter and fry the tacos, the flavor is next-level! The fish taco craze has spread from Mexico to California, and across the U.S. It’s the perfect dish to serve!
Perfect for Cinco de Mayo dessert, this Mango and Plantain Flambé is a caramelized mango-banana dream made with citrus, mezcal, turbinado sugar, and butter.
Tender pulled pork, smoky red chile sauce, rich corn masa—this traditional Mexican tamale recipe is a true labor of love; but definitely worth the effort.
The term ‘toreados’ comes from the action of sautéing peppers until they brown and blister on all sides. Enjoy these with your favorite grilled item or in any taco!
This bright red Mexican-style cocktail has a spicy kick to it. To celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16th. Consider serving it alongside a shot of tequila and lime juice to mirror the colors of the Mexican flag!
Corn tortillas packed with spicy chorizo and scrambled eggs topped with a tomatillo salsa, Mexican cheese, ripe avocado, and cilantro. These breakfast tacos are inexpensive, quick and so tasty.
A Mollete is a traditional sandwich of Mexico that is typically served open-faced. Made with common fridge-held items such as butter, refried beans, and a few types of gooey, melty cheeses, this sandwich is perfect when paired with a cold Mexican-style cocktail on Cinco de Mayo.