Cinco de Mayo: Mango Guacamole

| May 5, 2011

There are a few things that I’m really passionate about in life. One of them is history. I love to read history books, talk about history with other history buffs and watch the History Channel. And when it comes to Mexican history, I can really be a nerd.

That’s why the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States fascinated me so much when I was living there. In Mexico, this holiday is not a big deal. It’s not even an official holiday. Only in the state of Puebla, where the famous battle took place, schools and government offices remain closed. What exactly is celebrated this day?

Palacio Nacional

Many people in the U.S. believe this is our Independence Day, but that is incorrect. Our Independence Day is September 16th. The year was 1861. Spanish, British and French naval forces were stationed in Veracruz to demand payments that then-president, Benito Juarez, had stopped. After the Mexican-American War, the Mexican Civil War of 1858 and the Reform War of 1860, the country was bankrupt and unable to pay its debt to those foreign governments. Spain and Britain negotiated payments with Juarez’s government and left. However, Napoleon III saw an opportunity to establish an American empire in Mexico that would favor French interests.

In 1862, 6,500 well-armed French troops landed in the port of Veracruz and started for Mexico City. Juarez and its government were driven into retreat. However, the French army, the best at the time, in their blue coats and shiny boots encountered a lot or resistance from the poorly equipped Mexican resistance, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza, outside the city of Puebla. It was a long battle with a lot of bloodshed. Eventually the balance tipped to the Mexican side when a group of 1,000 Zapotec Indians armed only with machetes came to the aid of Zaragoza and his 4,000 men.

Mango Guacamole

Eventually Mexico lost the war and Maximilian, an Austrian Archduke, was placed as the Emperor of the Second Mexican Empire. But Mexico has a reason to commemorate this date because Cinco de Mayo honors the bravery and victory of General Zaragoza’s smaller, outnumbered militia at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

This holiday became very popular among Mexican immigrant communities in the U.S. since the 1950s and 60s when Mexican-American, or Chicano, activists embraced the holiday as a way to build pride among Mexican-Americans. This celebration has now been commercialized by beer and other alcoholic beverage companies as a drinking holiday. I’m not opposed to it and I really like the idea of a Mexican holiday celebrated abroad so widely. I would just love to see more information about what this day is all about.

If you celebrate Cinco de Mayo, or if you just like to have people over to drink some Mexican beer and tequila, you are going to need some delicious appetizers and I have the perfect one for you:

Mango Guacamole

Mango guacamole
2 large avocados
1 mango
1/2 red onion, chopped
Handful of cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 lime, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut avocados and mango and put them in a bowl.
2. Smash with a fork and add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Mix well until they form a smooth salsa.
4. Enjoy with tortilla chips.

¡Buen provecho!

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Category: Featured Articles: Travel & Culture, Mexico, Lat & South America, Recipe Vault, Sides, Sauces, and Breads, Travel & Culture, US & Canada

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Comments (15)

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  1. Great post! And great recipe, I will try it soon!

  2. Love the idea of mango guacamole, a must try for sure!

  3. Sook says:

    What a great post! Happy cinco de mayo! 🙂 The guac looks amazing! Love the addition of mango.

  4. Simply Life says:

    Mango guac?!? Wow – that is something I could be very passionate about! =)

  5. Gera says:

    I’m a big fan of History Channel and the traditions behind.

    I don’t have here this holiday but for me, all the year can be suitable for guacamole and nachos 🙂



  6. Sanjeeta kk says:

    How much I hated History when in school 🙁 Now is the time I regret doing that 🙂 Need to learn about this Cinco..
    The spread looks so delightful..easy, healthy and scrumptious for my sandwich too! Love the recipe. Bookmarked.

  7. Jill Colonna says:

    Vive the history channel and vive your mango guacamole! I’ve not heard of this amazing combination before. It sounds just perfect: the acidity of the mango with the avocado. LOVE it! Thanks also for the history tour.

  8. Patty says:

    Wow, Ben, this is an excellent post! Thanks so much for shedding some (much needed) light on the history of Cinco de Mayo. An incredibly inspirational story – it is no wonder the Chicano community embraced it to inspire movement in the U.S. The guacamole looks out of this world – would never have thought about the mango addition. Amazing!

  9. sweetlife says:

    mango and guac are perfect the history!!


  10. rebecca says:

    great post and love guacamole

  11. sophia says:

    Yumm…I love the addition of mango in there. I didn’t get to celebrate Cinco de MAyo, but I did look it up and learned that it ISN’T Mexico’s Independence Day, like you said. But I find it funny that Americans celebrate this day even more than Mexicans!

  12. bellini says:

    Wonderful Ben. Thanks for shaking us up with the history lesson too!

  13. Cakewhiz says:

    I am originally from cananda and Cinco de mayo isn’t really celebrated on a big scale there or else i would have heard of it. I only heard of it when i moved to chicago and i am glad to have learnt about it.

    Your guacamolelooks so refreshing with the addition of those mangoes. Great pictures too 🙂

  14. This is a great post; not only is the recipe simple yet mouthwatering and original, but it is accompanied by some sound historical facts; I always felt that Cinco de Mayo was not sufficiently and clearly explained to the public at large; thanks for the info, badly needed it!

  15. hellaD says:

    Fantastic article! And the guacamole looks delicious too.