In Mexico, Pan de Muerto (Bread of the Dead) is a type of bread traditionally made to celebrate the Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead (Mexican holiday celebrated throughout the country on November 1 and 2) whose origin can be traced back to certain Pre-hispanic rituals condemned during the Spanish Conquest.
José Luis Curiel Monteagudo, in his book Azucarados Afanes, Dulces y Panes (Sugary Whims, Sweets, and Pastries), emphasizes that for Mexican people, the notion of eating the “dead” is such a pleasurable experience that it is considered the anthropophagy of bread and sugar.
“The phenomenon is assimilated with both respect and irony challenging Death, and mocking it while they eat it,” assures the food researcher.
Nowadays, there are about 920 versions of this ceremonial bread which varies from region to region in form, alluding to human beings, animals, flowers or even mystical beings, in ingredients, preparations, and recipes.
However, traditional pan de muerto is generally overflowed with anise and orange hints sprinkled with sugar or covered in sesame seeds.
Filled with clotted cream, whipped cream or even chocolate are decadent ways of enjoying pan de muerto, yet have you ever thought of macarons, ice-creams, bonbons or any other sweet delicacy of sorts inspired by our beloved pan de muerto?
Well, in Mexico City there are a few places where you can find the traditional pan de muerto with a twist!
Let’s start with pan de muerto bonbons!
Though available all year long in Que Bo!, an artisanal Mexican chocolate shop owned by renowned Mexican chef José Ramón Castillo, pan de muerto bonbons are festooned in colorful skulls for this season.