What You Need to Know about Cinco de Mayo

What You Need to Know about Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is here again. It is celebrated every 5th of May in the United States - chance to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage, and an opportunity for some people to indulge in margaritas. But ever wondered how it came about or what it is?

It is often a misunderstood holiday. So what exactly is Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo 101

Most non-Mexicans believe that Cinco de Mayo is the day Mexico got her independence.However, Mexicans celebrate their independence day on September 16. It is good to note that Mexico got her independence 50 years before the Battle of Puebla.2

It commemorates the Mexican victory against French intrusion that took place on May 5, 1862. The French, led by Emperor Napoleon III, invaded Mexico at Veracruz in 1861 with an intention of establishing dominance in Mexico to favor French interests.2 Mexico had also defaulted on war debts to European nations, and France was determined to gather up their debt.1

The French army moved from Veracruz toward Mexico City after beating the Mexican government into retreat.1  President Benito of Mexico then mobilized 2,000 men to fight the 6,000 French troops just outside of the city of Puebla. They overpowered the French troops into retreat.2

Although the French troops were well trained and armed, they were defeated after losing nearly 500 soldiers, but yet fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed. This victory became symbolic. It is celebrated as a symbol of Mexican unity, determination, and victory.2

Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

Although the holiday is well known in America, it is not really a big deal in Mexico and is not a national holiday.1  It is only an official holiday in the states of Puebla and Veracruz. Nevertheless, other parts of the country also take part in the celebrations which include military parades, reenactments of the battle of Puebla, and other festive events. However, since it is not a federal holiday in Mexico, offices, bank and stores remain open.2

Cinco de Mayo in the US

In the United States, the celebrations of Mexican culture and heritage take place majorly in American cities with large Hispanic populations such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston.2However, other states with non-Hispanic populations still celebrate Cinco de Mayo.1 It is marked with parades, music, and Mexican traditional foods such as tacos and pinto beans.2

So now you know that Cinco de Mayo isn’t celebrated nationwide in Mexico, but is a holiday in Puebla state. But let’s take that excuse to drink margaritas and indulge in delicious Mexican food. Pinto beans are a staple of the Mexican diet, as a side dish or a filling for tacos. Let’s try these amazing Mexican recipes.

1. Pinto Beans Pizza

Make this fun Mexican pizza with pinto beans. Mash our cooked pinto beans and spread on the pizza dough. You can add your favorite pizza fillings. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, just put the beans without meat and add some veggies. If you wish to add some meat, add ground beef to your beans crumbles.4

2. Pinto Bean Falafel

Mash our pinto beans together with crushed tortilla chips and cheese. Shape the bean mixture to form patties. Pass them through egg whites, then, shallow fry them in a skillet over medium heat until browned. Tuck them into with a guacamole spread, which is made from mashed avocado and top up with onions and greens.5

3. Refried Beans

Fry our pinto beans with garlic, cumin, and chili powder over medium heat. Mash the bean mixture to get your desired texture. Squeeze lemon juice over the mixture and serve.6

Pinto beans are versatile and make delicious meals. Hover over to our products and buy our instant dried pinto beans and try out these delicious recipes to celebrate Mexican culture during Cinco de Mayo. Enjoy!


  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/cinco-de-mayo-2017-mexico-what-is-it-when-what-happens-how-to-celebrate-a7720331.html
  2. https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo
  3. http://randallbeans.com/2012/05/03/celebrate-cinco-de-mayo-with-mexican-bean-recipes/
  4. http://vegan-in.com/taco-bell-style-mexican-pizza/
  5. http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/falafel-with-avocado-spread
  6. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/220642/quick-and-easy-refried-beans/

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  • Branden Evans
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