30 Oct 2014
In the days and weeks leading up to the Day of the Dead, in the markets and bakeries across Mexico you will see “Bread of the Dead” being sold. It’s a Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead.
It is custom to shape a round loaf of bread with rolled strips of dough layered on top that resemble the bones of the dead. A glaze of melted butter and orange zest is then brushed on top, followed by a generous sprinkling of sugar. The bread is typically flavored with anise seed.
The tradition of baking bread of the dead started in Santiago Tianguistenco, Mexico.
Dead man’s bread is also made in a variety of different shapes. It is often shaped into skulls, sometimes resembling the deceased, and decorated with brightly colored icing, like the iconic sugar skulls. Other common shapes include angels, animals, and figures.
The bread is used at parties, and graveyards when the living gather to remember and toast the dead. The bread is also placed on alters honoring the dead along side with the other foods and beverages the dead person enjoy while here on Earth.