Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a celebration that occurs on November 2nd in Mexico. On this day, families honor their family members who have passed away by setting up alters to remember them and visiting their grave sites. Mexicans don’t just take flowers to the graves, they also give food and gifts. I know to most gringos this sounds terribly morbid, but according to my Spanish teacher and other Mexicans that I’ve spoken with, the focus is on the good times and the memories, not the death of the person. I dig it.
One of the best things about Dia de Los Muertos is the food and Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) is a keystone. Pan de Muerto is a sweet yeast bread with a hint of orange flavor and a generous dusting of sugar. During the weeks preceding Dia de los Muertos, the smell of this delicious bread wafts through Mexican streets throughout the country and each region makes their pan de muerto just a little different from their neighbor. To add more diversity, every baker shapes the dough into different things (ie: skulls, bones, flowers, animals, or people) and decorates the loaf simply or intricately with sugar so everyone’s pan de muerto is unique.