Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is about to kick off in Mexico, running from October 31 through November 2. Palace Resorts and Le Blanc Spa Resorts are celebrating with a number of special events.
On November 2 at The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun, celebrations will be held at “El Pueblito,” a traditional Mexican town within the resort. On hand will be authentic dishes, such as pan de muerto, sugar skulls (also known as calaveras) and live Mariachi performances. In addition, the resort will play the movie “Coco,” a blockbuster hit inspired by the holiday.
At Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos, a special “Dia de Muertos” menu at Blanc Ocean will be available from November 1-2. The five-course menu starts with a cempasúchil salad, a Marigold salad served with tangerine and tequila marinade, amaranth brittle and orange vinaigrette scented with orange blossom. Marigolds are traditionally used to decorate gravesites, or “ofrendas,” constructed in honor of those passed, with petals decorating the floor to guide the spirits to the altars. It’s also been said that petals were able to keep the heat of the sun; these flowers are placed on the altar to light and guide the spirits.
The second course, tamal nejo with green pipián sauce and sour plums, is a corn-dough tamale cooked in hot ashes that is a very typical meal in the Mexican states of Guerrero and Morelos, especially during this holiday. In Guerrero, mole verde is served with tamales filled with marigold petals.
The third course is the catch of the day topped with nicuatole, a thickened corn masa pudding scented with epazote and serrano pepper, served with rice and plantain Nicuatole – a corn-based drink traditionally made in the state of Oaxaca. The drink remains very popular on Día de Muertos altars across the community of San Agustín Yatareni.
The fourth course is beef steak with cacao sauce, served with sweet potato purée, vegetables and roasted chochoyotes, corn masa dumplings cooked in a beef broth reduction. Ancient Mayans buried their deceased with maize placed in their mouths; it was thought to be food for the journey into the otherworld. In the Yucatán peninsula, the custom is to serve chocolate or pozol, a fermented corn dough drink, in gourds. Pozol and other alcoholic spirits are placed in altars to welcome the souls of their deceased.
The fifth and final course is a semi-sweet chocolate coffin filled with tequila ganache and salt, dulce de leche mousse, candied orange and pecans, cacao crumble, corn and guava ice cream. Sweets are key elements on this celebration: candied pumpkin, sweet potato and the bread of the dead cheer up altars, as well as the hearts of the living and the visiting souls.