Skip to content

Origin of the bread of the dead: a story to celebrate

24 mayo, 2021

The origin of the bread of the dead It is one of the most deeply rooted traditions in Mexico. Today we tell you about its history and other interesting facts for you to enjoy.

It may interest you: When does the Day of the Dead offering rise and put on?

Day of the Dead is approaching, one of the most anticipated and traditional dates in Mexico that we all love. That celebration in which we remember those loved ones who came before us.

They are always present in our mind and heart, the same ones we honor through the offerings that we make with great dedication.

But, without a doubt, one of the favorite parts of Mexicans in every celebration is the food: we always have the ideal dish, drink, complement or dessert for every occasion.

The Day of the Dead could not be left behind and there is no better food to remember these dates than the delicious Pan de Muerto.

You may be interested in History of cheesecake

What is the origin of the bread of the dead?

This is located at the time of the Conquest, inspired by pre-Hispanic rituals when human sacrifices were practiced and which today is one of the most important symbols of the Day of the Dead and of the offerings.

Origin of the bread of the dead, a story to celebrate

(Photo: Getty Images)

The creation of this bread was due to the fact that the Spanish found this practice very violent, so they suggested preparing a wheat bread covered with red sugar.

The bread simulated the heart of the maidens without reaching the extremes where they really had to lose their lives.

It is known that in Mesoamerica a ground amaranth bread was prepared which, after mixing with the blood, was sacrificed.

This sacrifice was offered to the gods, these being the first signs of the Bread of the Dead, which has been modified until it becomes what we know today.

The circle in the center symbolizes the skull of the deceased and the raised strips that are wrapped around it are the imitation of the bones of the human body.

In some cases, orange blossom essence is added, which evokes the memory of the deceased.

Don’t miss: How to make a Day of the Dead offering and its traditional dishes

Origin of the bread of the dead, a story to celebrate

(Photo: Getty Images)

As elaborated?

Like many dishes of Mexican cuisine, Pan de Muerto is usually prepared in different ways, it all depends on the region and customs.

For example, in Puebla sesame seeds are put on it and in Oaxaca it is a yolk bread decorated as alfeñique.

For the CDMX the traditional thing is a vanilla bread covered in sugar and in some cases it is filled with chocolate, in Guerrero it usually has a different name.

It all depends on the region, so we can find it as bitter, souls or embroidered bread, this is because they are dedicated to each deceased in particular, that is why they also change shape.

For Yucatan it is common to see it stuffed with cream cheese and in Morelos they do it in a human shape with crossed arms covered in red sugar.

Maybe you are interested in 23 Recipes for Day of the Dead and Halloween, you will love them!

Regardless of what name, shape, filling, flavor or image we know it with, the Pan de Muerto will always be for us one of the greatest traditions that exist in our country and that has great significance.

This bread will always remind us of those loved ones who are already with us, but they will always remain in our minds.

Find out more about the Day of the Dead dishes and their curiosities in Easy Kitchen