MÉRIDA, YUCATÁN – January 6 is the Three Kings Day (Epiphany), when the traditional “Rosca de Reyes” is cut and eaten in homes across Spain and Latin America. In Mérida, on January 5 each year however, various city hoteliers come together to sponsor a gigantic rosca, in aid of several different charities, which this year included “Hogar de Loreto”, “Centro de Atención Integral al Menor en Desamparo”, “Centro de Comunicación y Servicios Sociales”, “Alas Al Vuelo” and “Fundación Elda Peniche Larrea”.
Preparation for the event begins in October each year, when the chefs of the seven participating properties meet to determine the quantity of ingredients each property will contribute; on this occasion it was decided that the length of the rosca would be an incredible 2.5 kilometers, with each hotel providing approximately 500 meters. More than 100 people participated in the preparation between the seven hotels.
This year was the 19th edition of the event, and the length of the rosca has increased each year, to accommodate the increased interest and number of visitors. The entire street between the Fiesta Americana and Holiday Inn / Hyatt Regency was occupied by tables containing the rosca, while a stage at each end of the street provided entertainment to the gathered crowds.
We were unable to independently verify the length of the entire rosca, however it was impressive, and, we are pleased to report, delicious, having sampled the sections produced by the Intercontinental and the Fiesta Americana.
A generous slice of rosca with a soft drink was $30 pesos, with all proceeds going to the nominated charities.
The hotels reported that 15,000 eggs, 270 liters of milk, 2400 kilos of flour, 100 kilos of dried fruit, and 250 kilos of yeast went into the production, as well as 150 small plastic dolls, which were hidden in the dough. Tradition in Mexico is that whoever finds the doll in their section of ‘rosca’ must host a dinner of tamales and atole on February 2 (Candlemas Day).
If you would like to learn more about the Rosca de Reyes and associated traditions, Wikipedia has an article here.
By Stewart Mandy
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Born in Europe, raised in the Middle East, and a long-time resident in the Americas, Stewart has been based in Mérida, Yucatan since 2010, and has lived and worked worldwide in the media, travel, tourism and transportation industries for well over 20 years. His local contacts and global knowledge provide him with unmatched access to the stories ‘behind the stories’ and he likes to take you to the places that others don’t or won’t go. From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, from Moscow to Melbourne, from Bergen to Buenos Aires, Stewart has been there. Chances are, wherever you are heading, he knows the score.
In addition to The Yucatan Times, Stewart contributes (or has contributed) to “The Examiner” (www.examiner.com), “Business Briefings”, “Cruise & Ferry Magazine” and “The Apollo Magazine”. He is a former editor of “rolling pin CRUISE” magazine.
He can be contacted by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can join him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/meridawriter, follow him on Twitter @stewartmandy or visit his website at www.stewartmandy.com or his blog at http://tolocsandaluxes.blogspot.mx/
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