If you think pan dulce is only for consuming at a rapid speed and leaving you with a stomach ache, YOU’RE WRONG. Here are 12 things every girl who is obsessed with pan dulce needs right now… because an obsession should never stop at just food. Duh.
These adorable stickers deserve a YAAAAS! Look at how cute they are! These babies are perfect for decorating your planner or agenda. What’s the point of owning a planner if it’s not adorable? To “manage your time,” you say? Nahhh, we’d much rather spend the evening putting conchas and orejas everywhere.
The yearly calendar for Mexican social life pretty much is dictated by baked goods. You know the year is wrapping up when bakeries and supermarkets start stocking traditional pan de muerto, a type of bread that is placed on altars and enjoyed by families around Day of the Dead. It is a delicious, spongy delicacy that tastes like brioche but has a distinctive smell, product of the orange peel and orange blossom essential oils that the traditional recipe calls for. This is what you need to know about pan de muerto. Hey, if you wanna get on your abuela’s good books this is your chance to impress her.
1. The origins of pan de muerto seem to go back all the way to Aztec times.
Of course, the original owners of the land on which Mexico City exists now did not have wheat, eggs and oranges (the main ingredients for pan de muerto) before the Spanish arrived. Rather, according to chronicles from the time and some historians, they made a sort of cake with amaranth flour. Some believe that this bread contained blood product of human sacrifices and that it was an offering to the gods.
2. The Spanish conquistadores changed the recipe, as they found this culinary practice violent and barbaric.
During colonial times the Spanish learnt of this practice and changed the recipe (it no longer contained actual dead people’s blood!). The amaranth was replaced with wheat flour and the top was sprinkled with sugar turned red with a colorant, which symbolized blood, an echo of the Aztec tradition. Some bakeries still use red sugar.
3. So what about the circle in the middle of the bread?
The circle represents a skull, and the elongated pieces of bread stand, of course, for the bones. The skull and bones are the most coveted bits of every pan de muerto, so snatch them as soon as you can (although you might get someone upset, as there is nothing worse than finding a boneless pancito de muerto laying around in the kitchen!). The long bones also symbolize the tears we shed for those who have passed away before us.
4. So you have noticed the sesame seeds in lieu of sugar in some panes de muerto?
Well, that reveals that the bread is from the Mexican state of Puebla, where sesame seeds are sprinkled on top. This has to do with the French influence on culinary affairs, and we all know French bakers like to get creative.
5. And in Oaxaca pan de muerto has a completely different shape and actually features a corpss. It’s much less creepy than it sounds.
Everything is just a little more elaborate in Oaxaca and pan de muerto is no exception. The Oaxacan variety is made with extra egg yolks and has an anthropomorphic design, complete with a little edible doll which represents the dead. They are simply delicious.
6. BTW, the orange blossom essence in pan de muerto has a very poetic meaning.
Orange blossom has a delicate and comforting smell that inevitably takes us back to the Day of the Dead altars that have been important in our lives. The smell is meant to symbolize the everlasting presence of the faithful departed. It is a sweet celebration of the connection between life and death.
7. Pan de muerto is a perfect example of contemporary Mexican identity.
This bread is the epitome of the cultural mish mash that defines contemporary Mexican identity. It has a prehispanic origin with religious connotations, but it has developed into a European food (bread is, after all, a product brought by the colonial power). It is also used in a celebration that fuses ancient indigenous beliefs and Catholic tradition.
8. It is round, like the circle of life.
Its roundness is also a reminder of the cycle of life and death, a cycle that has no definite end and no definite beginning. Indigenous cosmology frames life and death as coexisting and complementing realms.
9. If the bones form a cross, they stand for the four cardinal points.
The compass directs each arrow, or bread bone in pan de muerto, to a point ruled by the Aztec gods Quetzalcóatl, Tláloc, Xipe Tútec and Tezcatlipoca.
10. Panes de muerto are placed on altars so the dead can feast.
Of course, come November 3 you can have the delicious pan for yourself, and if you make a traditional chocolate caliente it will be even better.
11. Of course, as with everything else, pan de muerto has been gentrified. Just look at this delicious monstrosity.
Yes, we gotta admit that this looks absolutely delicious and we don’t wanna get all puritan when it comes to popular culture (which, far from stable, is a mutating thing), but having melted conejitos (a traditional Mexican chocolate) is a bit too much. Is it Day of the Dead or is it Easter? You can’t always have both!
12. Oh, hipsters, just sprinkling matcha on absolutely everything!
Yes, perhaps following the gentrifying wave of Starbucks some Mexican bakeries are starting to add green matcha tea dust in with the traditional sugar. Verde que te quiero verde, hipsters seem to recite in unison.
13. Can everyone just please stop? Is innovation just killing the true meaning of this Mexican traditional bun?
We mean, what fresh hell of deliciousness is this? No, seriously, a pan de muerto hamburger is just a tiny bit over the top, isn’t it?
Birthdays are always an excuse to blow a little money and do some shopping. In our capitalist-based society, America’s birthday is no exception. However, if we’re going to dip into our bank accounts we can at least make sure to support Latinx and Black-owned businesses.
We’ve compiled a list of July buys you should shop to support these POC and Black entrepreneurship.
Established in 2013, Chigona is owned and operated by boss Latina entrepreneur, Julia Carrillo. Whether you need bags, jewelry, notebooks or sunglasses, this shop’s apparel is designed for chingonas of all walks of life. Chigona is celebrating America’s birthday and its owner’s birthday at the same time with a double discount of 20%. This will be applied automatically to your total purchase.
AC Cosmetics is a Black-owned beauty, cosmetics, and personal care business. It specializes in translucent powder but the company also sells lashes and hair care products. For the 4th of July, all cosmetics are 40% off with the promo code “FIREWORKS.”
Focusing on the Xicanx and Mexican communities, Maldición explores the spaces where our Mexican and American identities meet. An apparel company that caters to both men and women Maldición’s colorful graphics make for substantially beautiful clothing. Starting today, the clothing brand will offer 15% total purchases through the 4th of July weekend. Just use promo code “CorazonDeLaGente” to redeem the deal.
San Antonio-based Hey Mijita is a clothing and accessories shop with las mujeres in mind. A lifestyle brand that promotes Latina entrepreneurship, empowerment and self-worth, you’ll especially love Hey Mijitas fun tees and flirty skirts. On Thursday the 4th and Friday the 5th, the entire store will be 15% off.
One part podcast and one part apparel shop, Miradela is a hip Houston-based, Latina owned brand. As if that wasn’t “fetch” enough, it’s also home of the “You’re Like Really Bonita” shirt. For America’s birthday, Miradela will have a 24-hour sale on all apparel. Use code “Sparkler” at checkout for your discount.
If you need your nails to be as on point as the rest of you, check out Cha Cha Covers’ 4th of July sale. Created by the crafty Ana Guajardo, these decals are both kind to your skin and really mesmerizing. For 25% off your purchase, use code “Stranger” from July 3rd through the 5th.
Mixing artesania with modern fashion, Glamlindo Artesania embraces Mexico’s Indigenous communities. Founded by a Latina mother-daughter duo, Glamlindo partners with artisans to create unique items. On the 4th of July, the brand will offer 15% off your total purchase on their website.
Frida Kahlo is one of the most beloved Latina artists to ever live. Honoring the artist, the Frida Inspired Shop is filled with all things Kahlo. To get your hands on discounted artista jewelry or accessories, visit the Frida Inspired Shop on July 4th for 20% off your total purchase.
The Texas-based Mija Culture is all about Emo Chola energy mixed with street wear. The Latina-owed shop offers hats, tees and accessories for both mijas AND mijos. Swing by their online shop on July 4th to get a 20% discount on your total purchase with promo code “Cuetes.”
CBD is beginning to find it’s way into more of our health and beauty products. It’s soothing power is awesome for aches and pains. That’s why Alni Body Care uses it in their homemade salves and oils. Through out the month of July, you can get free shipping on your order of CBD-infused body care items. Just use code “JulyFreeShip” at checkout.
If you’re looking to add some hip new pieces to your summer wardrobe, Valfré is for you. Mexican artist Ilse Valfré founded the clothing, home goods, accessories and makeup brand. As such, you’ll find her creative cuties slapped on to most of her goods. From now until 11 PM on July 4th, you can get an additional 30% off of already on-sale items. CV
12. Viva La Bonita
Viva La Bonita, the Latina lifestyle and apparel brand that is “inspired by the women who are fearless” has a delightful collection of one-piece swimsuits in any color that suits your fancy. Sizes run from XS to XXXL. Shop for your Bonita-wear here.
Night In Gail wants you to take your self care to a whole new level. The California-based bath and body company was founded by a Black woman and uses CBD in their products for women, men and pets. Until July 8th, Night In Gail is offering 20% off of all orders. Use code “Summer” at check out.
If you’re plus-sized, it can be especially hard to find awesome clothes that actually fit. Eye Candy Boutique have made it their mission to help ease this burden with their gorgeous clothing and shoes offerings. The Latina-owned boutique offers a live shop in San Antonio, Texas as well as an online store. Both will be open and offering a BOGO half-off promo until July 8th. Just apply code “BOGOFreedom” at check out.
Something wicked this way comes. If you’re a little witchy and are looking for the perfect accessories to show it, check out the Bruja Shop. Specializing in Bruja-inspired jewelry, you can find rings, necklaces and other shiny things. The Bruja Shop will be offering 20% off your total July 4th order.
The fireworks won’t be the only things dazzling on July 4th. Latina-owned Vive Cosmetics wants to help you find the perfect shade from their cruelty-free and vegan product line. On July 4th and 5th, use code “HereToStay” for 20% off. Also. To celebrate the contribution of Latinx Immigrants, Vive Cosmetics will be donating an additional 20% from each sale to nonprofits helping with the border crisis.
If we’re going to acknowledge everything that makes the US great, we need to point out its atrocities as well. Lifestyle brand Hija De Tu Madre is doing just that with their new shirt. Dropping on July 4th at 8 am, their “Fuck Ice” shirt will be available for purchase. There’s no discount here but a portion of proceeds from this tee will go to Border Kindness.
Get your face glamorous just in time for the neighborhood 4th of July party with discounted goodies from Cholas x Chulas. The Latinx makeup brand features to-die-for eyeliner kits and fashion accents gems. Cholas x Chulas is going big for their 4th of July sale with 50% off of your total purchase. Use code “CXC50” at checkout to redeem.
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