I visited La Esperanza bakery this past week, a cozy little Mexican bakery that makes some of the tastiest treats on Franklin Boulevard (don’t miss the churros). Fascinated by the colorful sugar skulls and interesting loaves of bread on display, I asked a cashier what was up. Turns out it was Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), a traditional Mexican holiday that honors the memory of ancestors and the continuity of life.
It’s believed that on Día de los Muertos, November 2nd, the souls of the departed return to visit the living. Though the holiday’s roots are in ancient Mexico, the day is celebrated in many North, Central, and South American countries.
The beautiful bread, called pan de muerto, is slightly sweet, and is decorated with pieces of dough shaped to look like bones. It’s often used to place on the altars of deceased loved ones during holiday festivities. And the sugar skulls? They are a playful representation of the dead, and are enthusiastically consumed by children and adults alike during this annual celebration.
5044 Franklin Boulevard, Sacramento, (916) 455-0215