This year, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Saturday, making a it a perfect holiday to celebrate with a get together in the outdoors. Cinco de Mayo is a day to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture, and part of that culture is delicious cuisine. Gather your friends, teach them a little history about Cinco de Mayo, and then dig in to some delicious campfire chalupas and cocktails. No parades or offensive costumes necessary.
What is Cinco de Mayo?
While it seems similar to the Fourth of July, Cinco de Mayo does not celebrate Mexican Independence Day. The holiday celebrates the ultimate underdog story: Mexico’s victory in the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. The French Army invaded Mexico and 6,000 French troops set out to take the town of Puebla. Mexican President Benito Juárez assembled an army of 2,000 men, incredibly outnumbered and undersupplied.
The battle lasted a full day, and when the dust cleared, the Mexican army had lost fewer than 100 soldiers while the French army lost almost 500 and were forced to retreat. The success at Puebla fueled the Mexican resistance movement, and the French army withdrew in 1867.
Today, Cinco de Mayo is mostly celebrated in the state of Puebla in Mexico. In the US, Cinco de Mayo has transformed into a celebration of Mexican and Mexican-American culture. You can celebrate the success of the Mexican army in the Battle of Puebla by fixing some authentic Poblano chalupas and cheersing to the ultimate comeback kids.
No, not the Taco Bell kind. Chalupas are the classic street food of the Puebla region, and are perfect for a backyard campout. Similar to tostadas, traditional chalupas are thick, fried tortillas covered with salsa, shredded meat, onion, and queso fresco. Try our simplified chalupa recipe for easy and delicious Poblano meal by the campfire.
1 small can salsa verde
1 small can salsa roja
1 diced white onion
5 chicken breasts (Or other shredded meat of choice)
Half a roma tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder in a spice rocket
Pinch of cilantro
¼ cup chopped red onion
Pinch of salt
Juice from 1/4 a lime
First, heat up your dutch oven over campfire coals. Drizzle some cooking oil in the base if you like, then place the chicken breasts on the bottom of the dutch oven. Cover with salt and pepper or your favorite light taco seasoning. Cook the chicken until it’s shreddable with a fork, approximately one hour (cooking times depend on the heat of the coals). While the chicken is cooking, whip up some guacamole: add all the guac ingredients to a bowl and mash with a fork to mix. Once the chicken is ready, start the tortillas. In a pan, preheat ¾ cup of oil over a stove for 5-7 minutes. Quickly, soft fry the tortillas in the pan, a few seconds each side, until lightly crispy. Spoon salsa verde on half the tortillas and salsa roja on the other. Top each tortilla with the shredded chicken, guac, cheese, and onions. Serve your chalupas immediately with a cerveza.
Every backyard party requires beverages. You can start a backyard Cinco de Mayo with some cervezas, or you can spice things up with some classic Mexican cocktails.
Thanks to our Vortex Blender, you can whip up classic margaritas at the campsite or back yard, no electricity required. Combine margarita mix, tequila, triple sec, and ice in the blender and work off your alcoholic calories by blending. Rim your glass with salt and enjoy!
Much more authentically Mexican than the margarita, the Paloma is a refreshing treat for a hot afternoon. Rim a glass with salt, then add 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 1 teaspoon simple syrup, ¼ cup mescal or tequila, and ice. Top off with half a can of grapefruit soda, garnish with a lime wedge. Salud!
Spice up the party with the Mexican version of the Bloody Mary. Rim a glass with some Tajin seasoning, then fill the glass with ice, 3 oz tomato juice, 6 dashes tabasco, and top off with a bottle of light Mexican beer. Serve with some spicy snacks or a shot of tequila.
Mexico is as rich in culture as it is in delicious cuisine. Hit your local Mexican grocery, put on some México Lindo or Selena, and get celebrating those Pueblan badasses!