Bread of the dead

As the Day of the Dead celebrations approach, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

 

BREAD OF THE DEAD

One of our favorite breads -- only available in October until the Day of the Dead during the first two days of November -- is quintessentially Mexican.The history of this exquisite bread harkens from the oldest civilizations of Mesoamerica, which offered human sacrifices as daily rituals to their gods with a level of devotion that is staggering to us now.


So the story goes, the religious Spaniards began to represent the hearts of the dead with bread, which they painted red to symbolize blood; and at a later iteration, sugar was added.
The Bread of the Dead we know today personifies the deceased: the top layer 
dough is the skull, and the other four layers beneath are the bones of the body, representing the four directions of the universe.

In México, you will find various types of Pan de Muerto, for example, in Puebla, Tlaxcala, Michoacán, among others; and each one has its own traditional way of doing it.  Some are garnished only with sugar, others are varnished in egg and sesame seeds; some are painted red, some are oval, while others are round.Regardless of its origin, the reality is that we always look forward to the Day of the Dead celebrations, when we can touch the magic of the gods… and enjoy it with a cup of steaming hot chocolate.

 

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