When I worked in Mexico City I learned a little about the Day of the Dead. The truly hole-in-the-wall restaurant near the office, gave everyone small sugar skulls. I've had pan de muerto, a bread baked for Los Dias de Los Muertos.
However this is a family holiday so I don't know too much about what else happens. At a local 'Mexi-tessan' they sell supplies for "alters of recetas", which are set up in homes that have the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, as well as pictures and other items significant to the loved ones. This is a great article about that with pictures.
In this article about the day of the dead, they mention two other sweet breads ...
Does anyone know the difference?
Also reading through Chowhound recently there are mentions of other food. Someone mentioned bone cookies. That's all I remember about it.
Another post mentioned Mucbil Pollos, the traditional food of Mayan Day of the Dead. This are big flat tamale cakes filled with Chicken and Pork and baked in the Pibil style.
I've only seen little sugar skulls in the US, but the big department stores in Mexico City sell elaborate skulls, sort of like chocolate bunnies at Easter. Do people actually eat those sugar skulls. They always seemed like sugar Easter eggs ... decoration only. I bought some in for a Halloween pot-luck at work and watched, sort of horrified, while my boss (not Mexican) crunched them up one by one. They symbolism alone ...
So are there other foods out there? Are there traditional foods taken to the cemetaries at the picnics on that day?
Some cool pictures of alters
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