May 4, 2011

Getting in the mood for Cinco de Mayo with 1930s Mexican recipes

Day 124 of Vintage 365


Happy first Wednesday of May 2011, my wonderful dears! How are you each on this fine spring day? I hope that you're well and that this month is off to a positive start for each of you. I'm still buzzing with the spirit of May Day and looking for reasons to celebrate, which got me thinking about the fact that tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo (which means "the fifth of May" in Spanish).

Though May 5th is sometimes erroneously referred to as Mexico's Independence Day (that falls on September 16th), it is in fact the day which commemorates the Mexican army's victory over the French during 1862 the Battle of Puebla (about forty years earlier Mexico had won its independence from Spain, however the country's fate - and ability to stand as its own nation - were still fought over in various skirmishes and wars, including the Battle of Puebla).

Today, while not a national holiday in either Mexico or the US, Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated, especially amongst Americans with Mexican heritage (interestingly, Cinco de Mayo has become more widely celebrated - including annual May 5th parades being held in various US cities - in American than south of the border in Mexico, where it is most noticeably observed by those in and around Puebla), and it's certainly open to being observed by anyone who wishes to delve into the spirit of Mexican history.

Without a doubt, one of the best (and most delicious!) ways to celebrate any country's history and culture is through its food. Mexican cuisine, while particularly famous for certain dishes and ingredients (such as corn and chili peppers), is a rich, diverse branch cooking that's been popular in America - and throughout the world - for quite a long time now.

In the spirit of celebrating Cinco de Mayo, today's pair of vintage recipes (for Hominy and Chili Scramble and Spanish Beans) are ones with a distinctly Mexican vibe to them, as interpreted by US brand Gebhardts in the 1930s.

{Colourful image featuring vintage Mexican recipes from a 1932 Gebhardt's cookbook that comes by way of Eudaemonius on Flickr. Click here for a larger version.}


Both of these recipes sound extremely easy to whip up, require just few ingredients to make (I'm not entirely sure what "Mexican sauce" refers to in the Spanish Means recipe, perhaps what we chili sauce today?), and quite tasty sounding. (If you're looking for canned hominy, it can be found from brands like Juanita's on

Whether you try out on of these 1930s dishes, opt for a different vintage Mexican recipe, or turn to your favourite Mexican foods of all time, I hope you'll join me in celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a meal full of wonderful south of the border flavours that sure to put everyone at your table in festive mood! Smile

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