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Pan de Muerto, a Day of the Dead tradition in Sonoma County bakeries

Ricardo Ibarra
Written by Ricardo Ibarra

Like in Mexico, Mexican bakeries in Sonoma County begin to offer their different options of Pan de Muerto —Bread of the Dead— just a few weeks before the actual Day of the Dead, for the enjoyment of  ‘pan dulce’ enthusiasts.

Although each bakery has their own style when it comes to making Pan de Muerto, the main characteristics of this traditional Day of the Dead sweet bread are its rounded figure and its cross in the middle, representing the four directions, sometimes with a layer of sugar.

Bakeries in Sonoma County can be very distinct from each other, according to each baker’s customs, but without losing its round composition. The Pan de Muerto can be shaped with a ball in the middle that’s called ‘ombliguito,’ with a bone figure forming a cross. Others can represent a more modern pirate skeleton, known as ‘muñequito.’ You can find them with blue or pink sugar, or without sugar and instead sprinkled with sesame seeds.

This treat can be offered to the spirits of relatives the Night of the Dead on November 2nd for them to take to the other world, including chocolate, coffee and other special items.  Pan de Muerto is a long time tradition that goes back to the Pre-Columbian era.

Here’s a map with bakeries in Sonoma County where you can pick up some Pan de Muerto, for the dead or the living.

[Versión en español]

Noticias y eventos desde la región vinícola del norte de California para la comunidad latina.

Posted by La Prensa Sonoma on Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Reach La Prensa Sonoma’s Editor Ricardo Ibarra at 707-526-8501 or email ricardo.ibarra@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ricardibarra.

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