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Happy Cinco de Mayo with Chicken Enchiladas!


Do you know the history of Cinco de Mayo? A popular day in the United States to drink margaritas and eat Americanized Mexican foods, this day has a rich history! 

It's all because the 1861 Mexican President, Benito Juarez was forced to default his debt payments to larger countries, like Britain, France and Spain. Of course, they wanted their money and set out to get repayment! Britain and Spain renegotiated and withdraw their armies, but the French.. oh the French took this opportunity to try to gain control of Mexico hoping it would lead to victory in the Americas. 

May 05th actually celebrates a victory fought and won by the Mexican Army! Napoleon wanted a French Colony in America and saw Mexico as the prime opportunity to attack and occupy.  He decided the best way to do this was to interfere with a long-standing clash between political parties in Mexico, who were already vying for control over the different territories. 

Napoleon took his chance and decided to invade through the port city of Veracruz. The French made their way inland only a short distance before losing the Battle of Puebla, destroying their chances of gaining complete control against the liberal- political adversaries. In the meantime, the French decided to build relations with the conservative government forces, who opposed the radical regime of the "liberal" government side, and thus were able to make advances in the next year. In the end, the French never occupied the throne, but rather it was handed over to Spain for a short time period. 

Thus, Cinco de Mayo represents the day that the "Liberal" side of the government in 1862 won against French occupation and against their conservative counterparts. It's actually not that big of a celebration in Mexico, so it's interesting that its become a normal US holiday! 

So why do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the US? It's a celebration to honor the heritage of Mexicans who won that battle! In the 1860's, Mexicans from the region heard about the win and decided to celebrate! It wasn't until much later in the 1980's that the commercialization of this holiday spread across US, turning it into a big celebration. 

Cinco de Mayo IS NOT Mexico's Independence Day, by the way! 

How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? 

Most people like to flock to restaurants for tacos and margaritas. Perhaps even check in with your local restaurants to see if anyone is offering carry-out as well! 

Prefer to stay at home but are tired of tacos? One of my favorite meals is Chicken Enchiladas! 

If you don't have the time to make the sauce from scratch, check out the Hispanic section of your favorite grocery store and grab a bottle of enchilada sauce, then follow the instructions! 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

1 comment

  1. Those look so delicious! This is an interesting post! Thanks!


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