It’s not technically “Mexican Halloween,” but Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead” is as close as Mexican tradition gets. And while there’s no Trick or Treating or candy corn involved (bummer), there is a lot of time-honored tradition and plenty of great food with which to celebrate.
Once again this year, Jose Andres’ popular restaurant Oyamel, is bringing back its Day of the Dead menu to honor the ancient Mexican tradition of celebrating the dead and enticing souls to linger with food, drink and festivities.
I had a chance to try this year’s menu last week, and as always, it was delish! The selection of dishes was inspired by the pre-Hispanic foods set out as offerings on traditional Day of the Dead altars.
Take a look at the festival’s menu, here. My personal favorite was the Taco de Camote y Pozole – a mouthwatering taco with sweet potato and hominy sautéed in butter, shallots and achiote with a peanut mole and crispy sweet potato strings. What a fabulous twist on a fall favorite!
The Day of the Dead festival begins today at Oyamel and runs through November 2nd, which is when Dia de los Muertos, one of the Mexico’s most important holidays, is traditionally celebrated. In rural Mexico, people visit the cemetery where their loved ones are buried, bringing marigold flowers and candles to decorate gravesites. Toys for dead children and bottles of tequila for adults are also placed on tombs. Families sit on picnic blankets next to gravesites and eat the favorite foods of their loved ones. Some families build altars in their homes, dedicating them to the dead. Altars are set up October 30th and 31st and are covered with offerings to the dead including flowers, fruits, vegetables, candles, incense, statues of saints, and photos of the deceased.
To make a reservation, visit www.oyamel.com or call (202) 628-1005.