Once again, we are very close to celebrating another Cinco de Mayo, and this year we wanted to follow up on one of our more successful posts from last year. Cinco de Mayo is a festive holiday celebrated in many parts of the world other than Mexico, and in some countries like the United States, it’s an important date for the Mexican and Latino communities. With the Mexican community growing in Canada and a steady growth of interest in Mexican food, Cinco de Mayo is now more visible across different restaurants in big cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and everywhere where you can locate a Mexican restaurant.
As a refresher, let’s quickly talk about the real meaning of the day in Mexico. It commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. In the United States, it is often celebrated with parades, festivals, and delicious food. In that same spirit, if you want to host a dinner to commemorate the date, even if just an excuse to have some friends and family for a delicious taco night, there are a few things we think you should take into consideration.
If you’re planning to host a Cinco de Mayo dinner, you can do a few things to ensure your celebration is a success. Here are some tips on how to prepare for your Cinco de Mayo dinner:
- Plan your menu: The first step in preparing for your Cinco de Mayo dinner is to plan your menu. Think about traditional Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, and guacamole (find info on how to cook these dishes and more in our recipes section). That said, you can also consider adding more flavour and surprise your guests with more unique dishes like chiles en nogada or mole poblano. Of course, get some cold”cervezas” ready, but consider to include also some tasty drink options like margaritas or horchata to add a unique twist.
- Shop for ingredients: Once you have your menu planned out, it’s time to shop for ingredients. Make sure to buy fresh produce, high-quality meats, and authentic Mexican spices. You may also want to consider buying some decorations, such as papel picado or sombreros, to add to the festive atmosphere. Many cities in Canada now have areas where you can get many authentic Latin American and Mexican ingredients and foods. For example, Kensington Market in Toronto is an excellent location for that, but you can probably find options in many cities near you.
- Plan your cooking ahead of time: It’s not a secret that anytime you host a dinner (not just Cinco de Mayo), one of the keys to a successful evening is to prepare as much as possible and have a clear plan. You have your menu and ingredients figured out, but see if you can get ahead with some prep the night before, especially if this is your first time cooking Mexican food. For example, depending on the recipe, you could probably try marinating the meat for the tacos overnight or perhaps have your game plan ready for chopping the ingredients for the salsa early in the morning. Take the time to learn any new dishes before the actual celebration.
- Set the table: Another important aspect of hosting a Cinco de Mayo dinner is to set the table. Use colourful tablecloths, plates, and napkins to create a festive atmosphere. You can also add some flowers or candles to the center of the table to add some extra flair.
- Enjoy the company: Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the company of your guests. Cinco de Mayo is a time for celebration and fun, so make sure to relax and enjoy the evening. Play some Mexican music, share stories, and have fun with your friends and family.
Now you have a few tips to get ready, but remember that if you don’t have time to plan a proper dinner, you can just plan something simple and gather your friends. If you are looking for the essentials to get some basic dishes and snacks for a Mexican night, you can find Casa Bonita products in many Canadian retailers, or simply visit our online shop.
In conclusion, hosting a Cinco de Mayo dinner can be a fun and rewarding experience. By planning your menu, shopping for ingredients, preparing ahead of time, setting the table, and enjoying the company of your guests, you can create a memorable and festive celebration!