Happy Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in the U.S. on May 5. It is officially known south of the border as the Battle of Puebla Day, which is observed voluntarily to celebrate Mexico’s victory over France in the city of Puebla in 1862, when the outnumbered Mexican army rallied to the cause. As a matter of fact, Cinco de Mayo is actually celebrated more in the U.S. than in Mexico, mostly as a fun way to bring the Hispanic community together. In the U.S., Cinco de Mayo is usually celebrated with party decorations such as streamers in the colors of the Mexican flag, piñatas, sombreros, and pin-the-tail-on-the-burro games, food, music, dancing and the gathering of friends and family, reports Northernexpress.com. Some of the best known Mexican foods served include flour and corn tortillas with cheeses, chicken, beef and pork (quesadillas or burritos); tacos; refried beans; the salty bread known as bolillo or telera; and a wealth of vegetables including peppers and chilies. Mexican cooks use plenty of spices in their dishes, from chile powder to garlic, anise, cilantro, cayenne pepper, and paprika to traditional sauce, which is made with over 30 different ingredients including chocolate. And if you really want to be exotic, you might try some of Mexico’s more unusual foods, such as iguana, rattlesnake, or insects - followed up, of course, with baked goods such as Mexican sweet rolls or the crème-caramel-like Flan. Hispanics continue to be our nation’s largest and fastest-growing minority group, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. In fact, the nation’s Hispanic population grew by 1.4 million in 2007 to reach 45.5 million people, or 15.1 percent of the total U.S. population of 301.6 million. And Hispanics skew considerably younger than other groups with a median age of 27.6, compared with the population as a whole at 36.6. Let us all celebrate the diversity of America and the incredible accomplishments of our Hispanic population. U.S. Census