In the United States, the date is largely seen as a celebration of Mexican American culture stretching back to the 1800s in California. Typical festivities include parades, street food, block parties, mariachi competitions and baile folklórico, or folkloric ballet, with whirling dancers wearing shiny ribbons and braids and bright, ruffled dresses.
Cinco de Mayo marks the anniversary of the 1862 victory by Mexican troops over invading French forces at the Battle of Puebla. The triumph over the better equipped and more numerous French troops was an enormous emotional boost for the Mexican soldiers led by Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza.
Lets Celebrate with food! Homemade Flour Tortillas
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water 110°F
- Vegetable oil for cooking
Making the Dough
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Add shortening to the flour mix and mix until the shortening is blended into the flour. It’s best to use your fingers for this. Add warm water and mix to combine all ingredients. Balls. Knead dough right in the mixing bowl or place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until a large ball forms. Pinch off about 2 tablespoons of dough to from 12 1 1/2-inch balls. Place dough balls on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
With floured hands roll each prepared dough ball once again, then place on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 7-8″ circles. Place a non-stick skillet, tortilla comal (griddle) on the stovetop and with a paper towel add vegetable oil, and lightly brush over the surface of the pan. Heat over medium heat. Place rolled tortilla on the pan and cook until bubbles form (60-90 seconds), Gently flip the tortilla and cook the other side for an additional (60-90 seconds). Place between a clean kitchen towel and repeat until all tortillas are cooked.