"Pan de Muerto & Champurrado" Workshop
Sunday, October 20th from 15:00 to 19:00 (4 hours)
One Pan de Muerto will be baked and tasted on-site, and one whole Pan de Muerto will be raffled so that the lucky winner can bring it home
Mexico has always been a country characterized by its rich and elaborate gastronomy, which was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2010.
Death as an occasion to celebrate
One of the most important gastronomic traditions during the Mexican fall season is the famous bread of the feast of "Día de Muertos," which takes place on November 1st and 2nd.
The "Pan de Muerto" is a reflection of the fusion between two worlds, the pre-Hispanic and the Spanish, between the joy with which Mexican peoples celebrate death and the traditional use of wheat in the European Catholic world.
Oaxaca is the state where we can find the largest variety of makes and shapes, which range from flowers and hearts to animals such as horses, donkeys, rabbits, turtles, and crocodiles.
In the State of Mexico, we can find the so-called "muertes," an anthropomorphic bread with human shape, made with egg yolk and cinnamon.
Allegory of the deceased
The circular shape of the famous bread symbolizes the cycle of life and death. In its upper part, in the center, there is a small circle that represents the skull, and the four cannelloni allude both to the bones and the tears shed for those who are no longer with us.
Placed in the form of a cross, they also symbolize the four cardinal points consecrated to the four primordial gods: Quetzalcoatl, Tláloc, Xipe Tótec, and Tezcatlipoca.
Another theory about the origin of this tradition is linked to the Eucharist's bread, an influence of the Catholic religion that the Spanish evangelists introduced when they arrived in America. It is also associated with the Aztec custom of offering maidens in sacrifice to the gods and placing their hearts in an amaranth container.
Some historians hold the theory that the ancient inhabitants of Mesoamerica buried the dead with their belongings and with bread made from amaranth seed mixed with the blood of those who were sacrificed to the gods.
Whatever the exact origin of this ancestral food may be, we cannot deny that we enjoy eating it. Pan de Muerto can also be enjoyed visually during this season, as it is also often placed in the "ofrendas" that elaborately decorate cemeteries across the land with food, colorful flowers, and papel picado as part of our extraordinary celebration of death.