The Bread of the Dead, Calaveras and Other Food of Remembrance

03 Nov 2020

I’ve always loved the last days of October and the first of November because I love the celebrations of the dead. I find a lot of life within them, and the idea of a link that can’t be broken, whether or not there is a life beyond this one.

And that’s why today’s article for Terra Madre is more of a short diary, inspired by the desire to share an aspect of civilization that sometimes seems to have disappeared because all too often it seems that our memories don’t have value, and that sincere reflections on death are altogether missing from the common discourse.

But it shouldn’t be like that. It’s important to maintain a link with those who have passed away, just as it’s important to confront the “great leveler”, as it helps us to live better and more fully in the here and now. That’s how I see it, at least.

The topic here hasn’t just come out of nowhere: the context is timely, linking the death to food, and it comes from a Terra Madre community in Calpulapan, in the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico. Here Yara Muñoz Castillo, a traditional cook of the San Felipe Sultepec community, has made a video on the preparation of the ceremonial bread for the dead, and its meaning.

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