Get ready to spice up your life and embrace the vibrant spirit of Mexico this Cinco de Mayo!

This annual celebration on May 5 is the perfect excuse to gather your friends and indulge in a fiesta filled with fabulous food, music, and fun.

To help you throw an unforgettable party, we've gathered together some exciting Cinco de Mayo facts and deliciously authentic recipes that will have your tastebuds dancing the night away!

Cinco de Mayo: A Brief History

Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken for Mexico's Independence Day. Still, it commemorates the underdog victory of the Mexican Army over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza, the Mexican soldiers successfully defended the city of Puebla against a larger and better-equipped French army.

While it's not a significant holiday in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo has become a lively celebration of Mexican-American culture in the United States, filled with colorful parades, foot-tapping music, and, of course, irresistible food!

Traditional Cinco de Mayo Food and Drinks:

Cinco de Mayo celebrations often feature classic Mexican dishes and drinks that showcase the country's rich culinary heritage. Some of the most popular items include:

  • Molé: Molé Poblano is the official dish of Cinco de Mayo because the day commemorates Mexico's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla.
  • Chiles Rellenos: These stuffed, batter-fried poblano peppers are a delicious way to celebrate the Battle of Puebla, which took place in the Mexican state of Puebla, where the dish originates.
  • Guacamole: This creamy avocado dip is a staple at Mexican celebrations, often served with tortilla chips or as a topping for tacos and fajitas.
  • Tamales: These traditional Mesoamerican treats, made of masa dough filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables, are wrapped in corn husks and steamed. They symbolize the resourcefulness of Mexican cuisine, which utilizes local ingredients in creative ways. Historically, tamales were only eaten on holidays, making them the perfect meal for Cinco de Mayo!
  • Churros: These sweet, fried dough pastries rolled in cinnamon sugar are a popular dessert enjoyed throughout Mexico and beyond, offering a delightful conclusion to a Cinco de Mayo feast.
  • Margaritas: This iconic tequila-based cocktail is a refreshing accompaniment to spicy Mexican dishes and is often enjoyed at Cinco de Mayo parties. Fun fact! Historically, not all people from Mexico could drink tequila because it was considered the nectar of the gods — only priests could consume it.

Now that you're familiar with some traditional Cinco de Mayo foods and drinks let's dive into the recipes we've selected for our celebration!

Recipe 1: Shrimp and Crab Ceviche

  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1 cup raw peeled shrimp chopped
  • 1 cup raw crab chopped
  • 1 avocado chopped
  • 3 limes or 2 lemons
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Juice lime or lemon in a medium size glass bowl.
  2. Add shrimp and crab and stir.
  3. Add all other ingredients. Mix.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe 2: White Queso

  • 12 ounces evaporated milk (1 can)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 lb white American cheese buy it sliced at the deli counter at your grocery store. Then chop into small squares, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 2 tablespoons canned jalapenos chopped, or chopped green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • chopped cilantro, tomatoes, and jalapenos for garnish

  1. Heat evaporated milk over medium/high heat in a small saucepan. Stir in the cornstarch and whisk to combine.
  2. Once simmering (bring to JUST before boil…when it starts bubbling up the sides, it's ready), reduce heat to low immediately.
  3. Immediately stir in the cheese in batches, starting with the white American cheese. As you stir in the cheese, increase the heat to medium/low and CONSTANTLY whisk while the cheese melts. Once each batch is melted/creamy, add more. Don't stop stirring; you must whisk the entire time while adding cheese.
  4. Once done with the white American, add in the shredded fontina or mozzarella. Again, whisk CONSTANTLY while the cheese melts, ensuring you have a creamy blend. If you prefer a bit thicker cheese, add a bit more of the mozzarella.
  5. Once all the cheese is melted, stir in the jalapenos, chili powder, red pepper, and salt and pepper.
  6. Top with cilantro, tomatoes, and more jalapenos if desired.
  7. Serve with tortilla chips, and enjoy!

Recipe 3: Churros with Chocolate and Espresso Sauce


  • 250ml water
  • 100g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 2T sugar
  • 125g bread flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup castor sugar
  • 3t cinnamon
  • oil for frying

For the espresso chocolate sauce:
  • 150g good quality dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids
  • 125ml cream
  • 60ml (1/4 cup) milk
  • 60ml espresso

  1. In a medium pot, bring the water, butter, salt, and two tablespoons of sugar to the boil.
  2. Once boiling, add the flour and mix vigorously to make a roux. Set aside and allow to cool.
  3. Beat 3 eggs, add this to the roux, and continue to beat. Use an electric mixer for this. You will now have a nice thick paste.
  4. Heat the oil to 190C. You can drop a little batter in to test if it's ready.
  5. Fill a piping bag fitted with a big nozzle and carefully pipe long strips of batter directly into the oil, cutting off the ends with a knife when long enough. It will immediately start bubbling. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, and fry a maximum of 3 at a time. Turn the churros over when they are brown on one side and continue to cook the other side until golden. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on kitchen paper.
  6. Mix the cinnamon and castor sugar and toss the churros in this while they are still warm. Use tongs if necessary.

For the chocolate sauce:
  1. Add the chocolate, cream, and milk to a double boiler and melt together.
  2. Once it is a nice glossy consistency, add the freshly made espresso, stir, and serve.


These fabulous recipes will transport your taste buds straight to Mexico and create a Cinco de Mayo celebration that's truly unforgettable.

With zesty shrimp and crab ceviche, fiesta-worthy white queso, and churros with a decadent espresso dipping sauce, your party will be the talk of the town.

So, don your sombrero, crank up the mariachi music, and get ready to fiesta like there's no mañana!

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!