Time for Fiesta: Celebrating Mexican Independence Day in Croatia
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Last year in September we just arrived in Croatia and we had many other things in mind, so we did not plan any celebration for Mexican Independence day. This year, however, the situation is completely different! We are on vacations, we have enough free time and we both miss some Mexican food and a few Latin flavors and moves.
Summer decided to stay longer this year and the weather is (was!) still beautiful and we decided to organize a little fiesta in our garden, as well as attend the picnic organized by other Mexicans from Facebook group Mexicanos en Croacia. Here’s how we celebrated Mexican Independence Day in Croatia.
Mexican fiesta in the garden
While I was making food, Jaime decorated the house and garden with papel picado (my favorite Mexican decoration!) and lights. The tables were covered with colorful tablecloths and big Mexican scarfs and over the door we hung beautiful handmade carpet, which Jaime’s parents brought last year. Around we have put sombreros, alebrijes, and other Mexican crafts to make everyone feel like they were really in Mexico.
We decided to prepare traditional and tasty food served with colorful salsas and garnishes like corn, cheese and onions with chilies. Here is the list of dishes and recipes (I will add
more (all) over the time).
- tacos de cochinita pibil, one of the tastiest tacos (recipe is linked!)
- tacos al pastor, signature tacos of Mexico City
- simple poultry and pork tacos,
- guacamole and tomato salsa, to give the right flavors
- frijoles refritos, beans dipping salsa,
- rainbow salsa, very attractive and tasty salad, and
- tortilla chips with cheese salsa.
To spice the things up, you could take some of the homegrown chili paprikas (mom is planting them especially for Jaime) and pour it over with tequila, mezcal (Mexican traditional drink, less known internationally than tequila) and margaritas.
Also, mom made the best desert – tres leches cupcakes. After trying (and adoring) her tres leches cake, I knew these cupcakes would be an excellent addition to the party!
The whole evening was wonderful! The weather was just perfect and we enjoyed the night in the garden while people were learning about Jaime’s traditions and enjoyed the food we prepared. It was great to see our friends and colleagues trying out new flavors. We can’t wait to repeat it next year!
Mexican picnic at Bundek lake
Saturday morning we spent in Bundek, enjoying Mexican traditional food with other Mexicans living in Croatia. I had no idea there’s so many of them here, but I’m glad they are and we were able to attend this lovely gathering.
Everybody brought something to eat – we decided on taquitos, onions with chilies and tomato salsa. We tried tacos de tinga (one of Mexican food I prepare the most often), empanaditas with beans, mole, rice and one lady even brought homemade tortillas. Those were the best tortillas I’ve ever tried and they were still warm, yummy!
Jaime enjoyed eating Mexican candies and trying out mezcal with his friend. We also meet many new people and the whole day was a great experience.
However, some poor soul called the police reporting there is hanged Mexican flag and, by Croatian law, one is not allowed to show other countries flags without prior permission. The police came and fined us with 300 kunas, obviously unhappy they needed to do that because we did not do any harm to anyone. We were not loud or unpolite, just the flag was hanging there. Ah.
Luckily, they did not ruin the mood (too much) and we continued to chit chat and play Mexican games. These few days dedicated to Mexico were so heartwarming, spent in a good environment. We were surrounded by nice people and awesome food – we couldn’t ask for more! Next year we will definitely repeat 🙂
If you are interested how other Mexican celebrations look like, read more about their Christmas traditions.