Cinco de Mayo (updated)

I love living in San Antonio, Texas. We have many different cultures here; we even have a museum, The Institute of Texan Cultures, which holds celebrations of various populations in Texas, including those as diverse as German, Sikh, and Arab.

River Walk in San Antonio, Texas

One festival San Antonio celebrates is Cinco de Mayo on the fifth of May. Many people enjoy tamales and enchiladas and everything else Tex-Mex, in addition to margaritas and Coronas with lime. Some don’t know the reason for the celebration. They think Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, but that date is September 16th.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over the French forces of Napoleon III at the Battle of Puebla. Mexico was having difficulty paying back war debts to several European countries, and the French army came to force payment. Mexico was invaded many, many times. They often lost, but this time they won.

America loves to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, perhaps even more than the residents of Mexico do. It’s not too late to go to Market Square or the River Walk in San Antonio for today’s celebrations. Keep in mind, though, that thousands of people will be there with you.

Update: I read in comments on another site that Napoleon III also wanted to support the Confederacy in the War Between the States. If he had won, American history might be vastly different. I don’t have a source for this assertion since it was a comment rather than a post.

TORTILLA SOUP – I am including my favorite Five-Ingredient Tortilla Soup recipe.

Credit Dollar Photo1-2 cans (10-ounce) chunk chicken
1 can (15-ounce) whole kernel corn, drained
1-2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chicken broth
1 can (15-ounce) black beans, undrained
1-2 cans (10 ounces each) diced tomatoes with green chili peppers

Dump all ingredients in a pan and heat. If you are worried about the result being too thick, you can save the drained liquid and add it back as needed. If you like, you can add a can of undiluted cream of cheddar cheese soup.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with tortilla chips or strips, some in the soup and some on the side. A squeeze or two of lime adds taste.

I like to add chopped celery also, if I have time. You can serve guacamole or chunks of avocado on the side. Sour cream works great also, along with sliced jalapenos or canned sliced carrots.

You can add cilantro, but I hate the taste. It’s not my fault. A DNA researcher who hated cilantro decided to see if he could find a genetic marker for liking/not liking the herb. As he ran various tests on others, he checked whether participants liked the taste. He found there was, indeed, a genetic marker for their preference. If you don’t like cilantro, it’s not your fault. It’s in your DNA.

Note: If you find errors or typos, please let me know in the Comments section.

Photo Credits: Dollar Photo Club


10 thoughts on “Cinco de Mayo (updated)

  1. Does the taste of cilantro remind you of soap? From what I understand, that’s a common reason for its dislike. I am one of the lucky ones, apparently, who loves its taste. The recipe sounds delicious. I may have to try it! (With chopped cilantro sprinkled on top :D)

  2. Great story. I have a co-worker and friend that told me that we in America celebrate it more than the people in her native country of Mexico. I found that interesting since we have a lot of workers here that enjoy the fact that our bosses treat everyone to a special meal every Cinco De Mayo. I guess they don’t tell them just for the free food. We have the very best bosses in the world.

  3. Marilyn, what a great post. And thank you for sharing your recipe. Loved the pictures too. When we moved to Texas in 1973 from our east coast island, the first neighbors we met in our new Dallas neighbor were our first Hispanic friends. She taught me to cook all sorts of Tex-Mex dishes and swore that we ate more Mexican food than any Hispanics she knew.San Antonio is such a great place! I used to attend a lot of meetings there. The motorists who are on the new 85 mph toll road sailing by to the east don’t know what they are missing.

  4. Hello, Marilyn! Hope all is well with you and yours. Great piece about Cinco de Mayo… Did you want me to forward it to the Classmates for you? If jot, send info on how to access it on line send I will forward that. Just let me know…. Would love to see you and Evelyn at the upcoming June Annual and 51st Class Reunion in Waco. Please give my Love and Best Regards to Dear Evelyn. UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN….. Dorothy

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