Los Angeles is a city with a rich cultural history that is heavily influenced by its neighbor to the south, Mexico. Though Halloween is celebrated traditionally in the United States, Mexican Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations are becoming more mainstream.
Even though it is referred to as "Day of the Dead" it is actually a two-day celebration beginning on November 1st. Loved ones craft handmade altars, food, and decorate with marigolds to celebrate those who have passed on. It may sound like a somber affair, however it is anything but. It is a time of celebration where families and friends gather to share memories, a good time, and great food.
Some of the traditional recipes include pan de la muerto (bread of the dead) and atole (Mexican hot chocolate). The most popular food item by far though? The hand decorated sugar skull. Check out the recipe below to make your own!
Sugar Skull Recipe:
(yields 20 medium sized skulls)
5 lbs Sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder (not negotiable)
3 Tablespoons water
- Mix sugar, powder and water together until the mixture is consistently wet.
- Pack mixture into sugar skull mold firmly.
- Place flat back of mold against cardboard surface and gently remove the mold
- Let dry for 8 hours at least, untouched
- Decorate with icing, edible beads