6 secrets of Pan de Muerto no one has told you

Throughout November, many Mexicans prepare to receive this month with great enthusiasm, as it not only represents the opening of major festivities such as the Day of the Dead, but also means the arrival of various delicacies. Among these, the most awaited of all is the Pan de Muerto, the emblem of this celebration.

Pan de muerto en cobá
Pan de Muerto, symbol of the Day of the Dead

Although this famous food is mainly known for its exquisite aroma, sweet flavor and soft texture, beyond being a seasonal dessert, it is considered an important symbol of Mexican culture. Unlike other breads, it hides a whole world behind it, of which few are aware.

Therefore, in honor of the Day of the Dead in Mexico, we have prepared for you 6 unexpected secrets of this delicious treat.

Secrets of the Pan de Muerto no one has told you

1. The origin of Pan de Muerto

Being part of an ancient tradition, there are countless legends and myths surrounding the origin of Pan de Muerto as we know it today, however, the most accepted version can be traced back to pre-Hispanic times when human sacrifices were practiced.

Prehispanic traditions of the Mayan world

During this period, it is said that when performing rituals, the hearts of maidens were offered to the gods as a form of gratitude. But at the time of the conquest, the Spanish rejected these customs and decided to replace the human heart for a wheat bread with a similar shape and color. Giving rise to a new stage in the Day of the Dead.

2. Its styles are endless

As any good Mexican, it is very likely that you have already tasted the pan de muerto, since it is so emblematic of the date, is not unusual to find a huge variety of it, as each region has been responsible for adding its own style to it.

various pan de muerto
Bread of the dead in the form of dolls

Although the most classic of them, has a round shape and is sprinkled with sugar or sesame seeds, there are also those in the shape of humans, plants, animals, coffins or even dolls. Not to mention, depending on where you are, their ingredients can change, ranging from those accompanied by chocolate and vanilla to those filled with cream.

3. The red color is not random

As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, the pan de muerto has infinite presentations, varying in shape and size, as well as in ingredients and color. In fact, if we are talking about colors, in some regions it is very common to see pan de muerto colored in red or pink.

Day of the dead to remember the deceased

However, the fact that red is one of the most popular shades for this dessert is no coincidence. In fact, its purpose is to represent the blood of the sacrifices during pre-Hispanic times or the red powder with which the deceased used to be buried, something very symbolic of the tradition!

4. Each part of the Pan de Muerto has a meaning.

Just like its color, each part of this millinery bread also holds an important meaning. In the case of its traditional round figure, it represents the cycle of life and death, while the four lines that join to form a cross, symbolize human bones and in the center of it you can find the skull or the heart of the sacrifices.

pan de muerto
The bread of the dead as the cycle of life and death

On the other hand, it is also said that these lines refer to the tears of the souls, or to the four cardinal points and the ancient pre-Hispanic gods; Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, Tlaloc and Xipetotec. Would you have imagined it?

5. Its exquisite aroma is a guide for the dead

As you may already know, much of the Day of the Dead celebration focuses on the union of families, since it is believed that during these dates the souls of our loved ones return once again to the world of the living to spend an evening together and enjoy the feast that has been prepared for them.

visit the souls on the day of the dead
The dead are guided by the aromas of the offerings

But how do they do it? … Basically, in order to guide them home, altars are placed with bright and aromatic offerings, commonly flowers and the favorite foods of the deceased. This is why the Pan de Muerto is usually accompanied by azahar or orange essences, in addition to the colors it may have.

In that sense, it is a way to guide and nourish them, since according to tradition, the souls are filled with energy through the essence of the food.

6. Pan de Muerto as part of a cultural heritage

While the Day of the Dead in Mexico is one of the most important holidays at a national level, it has also managed to capture the attention of the rest of the world. Having been declared by UNESCO since 2003 as cultural heritage, as it is more than just a simple celebration.

day of the dead festival in coba
Day of the dead, festivity full of traditions and customs

The set of its gastronomy and cultural practices have led this celebration to be not only representative of the country, but also continues to reinforce the traditions and integration between communities. Therefore, it is important to continue promoting this beautiful tradition.

Now that you know all the secrets that this delicious delicacy hides, eating pan de muerto will never be the same again. So, no matter where you are, to celebrate this great season you can’t miss this exquisite bread.

pan de muerto and mayan chocolate
Mayan ancestral chocolate at Pischan restaurant

In case you are looking for the authentic ancestral flavor then Pischán, Mayan restaurant of gourmet cuisine is your best option, since here you will not only have the opportunity to delight your palate with the most characteristic dishes of the Day of the Dead, such as Mayan chocolate and Pan de Muerto, but it will also be the perfect place to immerse yourself in the mysticism of Cobá. Taking your experience to the next level!

Don’t wait any longer and accompany your Day of the Dead with the best flavors of the Mayan zone in an evening that is to die for. For more information you can contact the direct line 998 342 0198 or if you prefer you can consult the website. In case you have a special event, we recommend you to book in advance here.

Now, have an incredible night.

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