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F*ck Cinco de Mayo: But If Non-Latinos ‘Must’ Celebrate It, They Must Do It Authentically At Least – Here’s How

F*ck Cinco de Mayo: But If Non-Latinos ‘Must’ Celebrate It, They Must Do It Authentically At Least – Here’s How

Ah, Cinco de Mayo — the holiday that’s as authentic as a $5 sombrero from the dollar store. Yet, amidst the sea of cheap margarita mix and tacky sombreros, there’s a tale of valor and defiance that often gets drowned out by the clinking of beer bottles. So, in a Cinco de Mayo editorial partnership between BELatina and Familia Kitchen, we’re here to peel back the layers of this made-up holiday — complete with authentic recipes straight from the heart of Mexico. 

The History of Cinco de Mayo

Let’s rewind a bit. Back in the 1980s, Anheuser-Busch and Miller Company saw an opportunity to tap into the Latino market by slapping sombreros on their ads and shouting “¡Salud!” Cue the birth of Cinco de Mayo as we know it today — a marketing ploy disguised as a cultural celebration.  

Fast forward to 2009, and beer companies were dropping more cash on Spanish-language ads than most people spend on rent in a lifetime. According to Business Insider, these companies spent $171-million bucks on Spanish language advertising that year. This, however, led to a drunken mess – pero quien los manda.  

Though Anheuser-Busch started this “trend” – and saw increased sales in its beers for years, it’s no longer a leader in sales. Today, Modelo, which is owned by Constellation Brands, is on top of beer sales. In fact, in 2023, Modelo Especial became the best-selling beer in the United States. Please note that Modelo is brewed in Mexico and distributed by Constellation Brands. So, Mexico wins year-round in the beer industry. 

Despite its problematic inception of promoting drinking alcohol excessively, this day continues to push through and make its rounds year after year. It’s no wonder Cinco de Mayo became the Super Bowl of drinking holidays, with more tequila shots flowing than the Rio Grande after a heavy rain.  

(Mi gente, please drink responsibly, always. We are smarter than that.) 

Let’s Not Forget the Battle of Puebla

But let’s not forget the real reason behind Cinco de Mayo. It’s not just about the discounted prices of tacos on Cinco de Mayo weekend – although that’s certainly part of the fun. No, it’s about commemorating the unlikely victory of the Mexican army over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  

Led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, these underdogs proved that with enough grit and determination, anything is possible – even taking down a military powerhouse like France. And while the victory may have been short-lived, its legacy lives on as a symbol of Mexican resilience and defiance against foreign invaders. 

Celebrating Latinos

Here’s where things get interesting. While Cinco de Mayo may be a minor holiday in Mexico, it’s become a cultural phenomenon in the United States and for good reason.  

With Latinos making up the largest minority in the U.S., Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican-American pride and heritage.

Hey, it gives people from the United States, especially the gringos, the opportunity to celebrate Mexicans rather than berate and demonize them as they have done historically. (And well, that still happens to this day – which is not okay.) It’s also a chance for communities to come together and honor Mexican culture (regardless of whether its roots are truly Mexican.) We can always appreciate tacos and beverages – and more so when they embody the quality true Mexicans love.  

How to Be Authentic on This Fake Holiday

And speaking of cuisine, that’s where BELatina and Familia Kitchen come in. We’ve partnered up to bring you authentic recipes straight from the streets of Mexico – none of that watered-down margarita mix or pre-packaged guacamole nonsense. We’re talking tacos de lengua, tacos de trompo, and all the mouthwatering flavors that Cinco de Mayo tries to celebrate. Try the recipes below to up your Cinco de Mayo game. Somehow, we think plenty of people will need this: 

Guacamoles & Starters Recipes

Margaritas & Drinks Recipes

Salsas & Dips Recipes

Tacos & Enchiladas Recipes

As you gather with friends and family this Cinco de Mayo, take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. If you are non-Latino, we implore you to celebrate Mexicans authentically, with respect and reverence for their history and culture. Now that’s something we’d cheer to with a tequila toast. 

Go deeper into the history of Cinco at BELatina and FamiliaKitchen.com. 

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