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A Mother's Day breakfast, Mexican style: Día de las Madres

Karen Hursh Graber

Here in Mexico, the month of May brings many holidays: Workers' Day (3rd), Cinco de Mayo (5th), Teachers' Day (15th), and the day set aside to honor Mamá, Mother's Day, always celebrated on May 10.

Mexicans observe Día de las Madres wholeheartedly and enthusiastically. Cynical comments about another "Hallmark holiday" and complaints about retailers' ad campaigns are not heard here. Instead, the day is celebrated with flowers, presents, and special programs. School children proudly invite their mothers to plays, dances and recitals. Stores, movie theatres and supermarkets all give out little recuerdos, or remembrances, to the mothers who come in during the day.

One of the most charming customs of all is that practiced in many Mexican churches, the early morning singing of Las Mañanitas and distribution of tamales and atole to all the local moms.

While tamales and atole are the traditional early-morning meal, many people do not eat until mid-morning, enjoying a meal called almuerzo, which is the equivalent of brunch, and not lunch, as it is sometimes mistakenly translated. The range of food eaten at almuerzo is much wider than typical north-of-the-border breakfast fare, from grilled meats to hearty egg dishes and even moles and stews.

Fresh seasonnal fruit, either sliced or juiced, is usually served first, with coffee, herb tea or Mexico's beloved hot chocolate accompanying the meal.

If you usually prepare Mother's Day breakfast for Mom, you might like to try giving it a Mexican twist. If you haven't made a Mother's Day breakfast in the past, you could start now, with one or two of the recipes given below.


Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
Contact Karen Hursh Graber

Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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