Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) is the anniversary of Mexican President Benito Juarez’s victory against the French at the attack on Puebla da Los Angeles in 1862. After the Mexican-American War, the country was nearly bankrupt—so President Juarez was forced to default on debts with France, ruled by Napoleon III. Juarez rounded up a force of 2000 men who defended Puebla from 6000 French troops. After an all-day battle, the French finally retreated. Juarez lost less than 100 of his men; France lost 500. This symbolic victory bolstered support for the Mexican government and resistance against French imperialism. Six years later, France finally withdrew from Mexico.
Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Mexico occur mainly in the state of Puebla and include parades, battle recreations, and street festivals. However, the day isn’t a federal holiday—so for many Mexicans, Cinco de Mayo is just like any other day of the year.
As Mexico’s neighbor, the United States celebrates Cinco de Mayo as a way to recognize Mexican heritage and culture. In the 1960s, Mexican-American activists began promoting the day as a way to increase community pride. The United States adopted the holiday and now celebrates it more vigorously than most Mexican natives. In fact, Americans consume more alcohol on Cinco de Mayo than on almost any other day of the year. Los Angeles hosts what is believed to be the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in the world, with parades and events more elaborate than those in Puebla, Mexico. Taco stands, parties, margaritas are all included.
While we were host to Patagonia’s Worn Wear Truck in 2015, chef Zach made tacos for a brunch taco stand at The Factory. He’s recreating those dishes at The Factory Café by serving up tacos next Friday for Cinco de Mayo. Look for three versions: shrimp, carnitas, and pollo rojo, with house-made tortillas and all the trimmings. The shrimp are Royal Red, sourced from the Gulf, the pork comes from our friends at Bluewater Creek Farms, and the chicken is from Joyce Farms.
Drop in for lunch and enjoy them with one of our regional craft beers (Straight To Ale’s Monkeynaut IPA pictured here) from 11am – 2pm from Tuesday, May 2nd – Friday, May 5th.