If you're a Día de los Muertos — or Day of the Dead — fanatic, head to Mercado La Paloma this Sunday to celebrate with non-stop music, dance, theatrical performances and food from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The program has been arranged in collaboration with Xamanism. (Admission is free.) The theme is Renaissance 2012, The End of a New Beginning, Baktun 220.127.116.11.0. This is based on the Mayan calendar, which ends a major cycle of 13 baktuns on Dec. 21. Scary enough for the Day of the Dead, right?
To make it even scarier, there will be skeletons all over the place, most of them in art work. You'll see altars to the dead too, and you can buy sugar skulls at one of the shops.
Mercado restaurants Chichén itzá and Taquería Vista Hermosa have come up with special dishes for the occasion. Chef-owner Gilberto Cetina of Chichén Itzá will put out the giant tamal mucbipollo, which he says all Mayans eat on the official Day of the Dead, on Nov. 2. It's stuffed with chicken in achiote sauce and hardboiled eggs.
Mayans believe the soul stays in the body for seven days after death and so put an ear of corn in the mouth of the corpse to provide sustenance. Cetina's tamal sounds much more appetizing. He'll also serve fresh corn atole, a jicama, orange and mandarin salad and bunuelos made with yuca.
Raul Morales of Taquería Vista Hermosa will present typical foods from Michoacan including chicken mole, arroz morisqueta (rice with tomato, garlic, epazote, cilantro and chiles) and squash flower quesadillas. He'll also serve corundas, unstuffed tamales topped with spicy salsa ranchera and cheese.
Sounds like a feast that you'd want to eat dead or alive. And you can eat it not only on the Day of the Dead, but throughout November, because the Mercado's celebration will continue all month.
Read more from Barbara Hansen at TableConversation.com, EatMx.com, @foodandwinegal and Facebook. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.