Sunday, November 1, 2009
Eating "little dead men" in Corona
From Interactive Journalism:
At Beky Bakery on 103rd Street in North Corona, owners Jose Gonzales and his sons Jesus and Fernando prepare dough flavored with cinnamon, orange peel, walnuts, brandy, and vanilla.
The also make breads called muertitos which are shaped like a human figure with crossed arms, and topped with pink sugar.
The breads are traditionally eaten from October 28 to November 2 during the days when Mexicans commemorate their dead ancestors and family members with altars made of flowers, candles, paper, fruits, and the favorite foods of the deceased.
Believers in the All Saints traditions say that during these days, the souls of their ancestors return and eat the essence of the food and drink.
Around North Corona and Jackson Heights, bakeries do a brisk business in the breads at this time of year. Mexican immigrants in New York also make and sell sugar skulls, another typical offering.