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Pan de muerto, bread of the dead

Anthropophagy of bread and sugar!
Pan de muerto, bread of the dead
Pan de muerto, indulgent on its own, but even better paired with a cup of foamy Mexican hot chocolate! - Photo: Iván Stephens/EL UNIVERSAL
27/10/2017
16:19
EL UNIVERSAL in English/Sofía Danis
Mexico City
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In Mexico, pan de muerto (bread of the dead) is a type of bread traditionally made to celebrate the Day of the Dead (Mexican holiday celebrated throughout the country on November 1 and 2) whose origin can be traced back to certain Pre-hispanic rituals condemned during the Spanish Conquest.

José Luis Curiel Monteagudo, in his book Azucarados Afanes, Dulces y Panes (Sugary Whims, Sweets and Pastries), emphasizes that for Mexican people, the notion of eating the Dead is such a pleasurable experience that it is considered the anthropophagy of bread and sugar.

“The phenomenon is assimilated with both respect and irony challenging Death, and mocking it while they eat it,” assures the food researcher.

Nowadays, there are about 920 versions of this ceremonial bread which varies from region to region in form, alluding to human beings, animals, flowers or even mystical beings, in ingredients, preparations, and recipes.

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Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

However, traditional pan de muerto is generally overflowed with anise and orange hints sprinkled with sugar or covered in sesame seeds.

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Pan de muerto and Mexican hot chocolate at La Rifa Chocolatería - Photo: Iván Stephens/EL UNIVERSAL

Filled with clotted cream, whipped cream or even chocolate are different and decadent ways of enjoying pan de muerto, indulgent on its own, but even better paired with a cup of foamy Mexican hot chocolate!

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