November 1 is All Saints Day, a day to celebrate all saints, known and unknown. In Mexico All Saints Day corresponds with the first day of Day of the Dead celebration. We’ve all seen the skeletons and skulls associated with the Day of the Dead but have you ever tried the Pan Dulce or Mexican Sweet Bread baked for this celebration?
I had never seen these Mexican treats until, of all places, I discovered them in the Brandywine Valley. I was enjoying a very WASPy fall weekend in Pennsylvania countryside when there, in Historic Kennett Square was Alondras Bakery and dozens of Pan Dulce variations.
There are over 400 types or shapes of Pan Dulce – many with specific associations to Mexican celebrations and holidays. Cuernos or “horns” is a cinnamon bread baked in a crescent-shape traditionally baked for All Saints Day to prod (like a bull) the sinner.
Do you have a Mexican panaderias in your neighborhood? Look around, you may find a little international flavor in an unexpected place.