Saturday, May 05, 2007
Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo (or, "how the US commercialised a celebration").
This event is not Mexico's National or Independence day, but the celebration of the defeat of a small invading French force by an even smaller local Mexican force at Puebla in 1862.
By "small" I mean that there were 6,500 French soldiers and 4,500 Mexican militiamen involved - numbers that were "usual" in the wars of independence further north some 75 years before, but dwarfed by the scale of the armies raised in Europe between 1790 and 1815, during the Napoleonic conflicts. Of course, various web sites change the figures - the Mexican number seems pretty well agreed-upon, but the French force seems to vary, up to "three times the number of Mexicans" or more !
In Mexico this is a big celebration in the state of Puebla, but that's about it. In the USA, on the other hand, it's the cause for big promotions by food and drink companies. All in all, it seems like people in the US ( and I mean all the people, not just those who look like they might have walked quietly over the border last weekend ) have a predisposition towards partying this weekend. Probably because Spring has started and the weather is, at last, turning warm, and so let's all get out there and party ! May 5th is just a good time.
By the way, for those interested in "genuine" beer, Tecate is a popular beer, but is brewed by Labatt's, who live in Norwalk, VA. Labatts are owned by Interbrew of Belgium and FEMSA Cervesa of Mexico. Dos Equis shares the same distinctive heritage ! Personally I prefer Pacifico, brewed by the larger of the two Mexican brewing giants, Grupo Modelo, who also export Corona, Corona Light, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial, and Modelo Light. Unfortunately, Anheuser-Busch owns 49% of Grupo Modelo, so things may soon get worse
For info, thanks to MEXonline. For the picture of a burrito, thanks to WikiBooks ! For ace food, thanks to the ladies in the Taco House restaurant at the bottom of Route 70 in NJ.