Mexico celebrates Cinco de Mayo as a holiday to commemorate the victory at the Battle of Puebla in the war during the French occupation of Mexico. In the United States, it is a festive celebration of Mexican heritage. Many restaurants are offering special Cinco de Mayo deals and freebies this year. Here’s what you need to know about Taco Bell‘s Cinco de Mayo menu.
At-Home Taco Bar
To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Taco Bell has added a new feature to its pick-up and delivery menu — the at-home taco bar.
The restaurant website says “get ready to get creative this Cinco de Mayo” and reveals that the at-home taco bar includes 12 hard-shell taco shells, eight tortillas, a bag of nacho chips, seasoned beef, beans, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, nacho cheese sauce and sour cream, plus recipe cards to help you create your Taco Bell favorites.
“We’re bringing the spirit of the Taco Bell Test Kitchen straight to your home with our At Home Taco Bar,” says the website. “It’s your chance to concoct your wildest Taco Bell creations (and show off to your friends). You can bring back an old favorite like the Double Decker® Taco or maybe just stick to building a classic like the Crunchy Taco. Let’s be real – the options are endless. To get you started, we’re giving you all the tips on making the Taco Bell items you know and love with the recipes.”
The recipes include crunchy taco, double-decker taco, soft taco, nachos supreme, nacho crunch quesadilla, 7-layer dip, wild strawberry tequila sunrise and Mountain Dew Baja Blast Mexican mule (though the drink ingredients must be purchased separately from the at-home taco bar).
What Is Cinco de Mayo?
Mexico celebrates Cinco de Mayo (the Fifth of May) to commemorate its victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.
In that battle, the Mexican army was outmanned and outgunned but managed to defeat the much larger French army, which provided a significant morale boost to the Mexican forces. According to an account on Napoleon.org, French General Charles de Lorencez’s failed attack on the convent at Cerro de Guadalupe hill in southern Mexico led to a retreat and a pursuit by the Mexican army, driving the French forces out of Orizaba.
In subsequent battles, the French would be victorious over the Mexican forces, eventually taking Mexico City in 1863. But the Mexican people fought back and in 1966, the French withdrew from the country.
A common misconception about Cinco de Mayo is that it is Mexico’s independence day, much like how the United States celebrates its independence on the Fourth of July. But in actuality, Mexico’s independence day is celebrated on September 16, which is the day that started the Mexican War of Independence. Mexico also observes the end of the war, which lasted for 11 years, on September 27.
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become more of a general celebration of Mexican heritage rather than an observance of the specific Battle of Puebla. U.S. customs include cultural festivals with food and music, folklore demonstrations that include traditional Mexican dancing and mariachi music, or units taught in school about the day and its historical significance.