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Holidays are important in the Mexican culture and among them is “Candlemas / Día de la Candelaria Day!”

An article from somewhereintheworldtoday elaborates on this holiday:
The celebration of Candlemas originated in the late fifth century and it is celebrated with most enthusiasm in South America, Mexico and Spain. Candles are blessed, lit, and carried in colorful processions in celebration of Jesus being the light of the world. It is also the celebration of the purification of Mary, forty days after the birth of Jesus.

In many countries, Candlemas is seen as the end of the Christmas season, when the decorations are taken down, the greenery burned with the remnants of the Yule log and the ashes spread over the gardens to ensure a good harvest.

Celebrated in many countries, different traditions arise:

France: Candlemas is celebrated with crêpes, which must be eaten only after 8pm. If the cook can flip a crêpe one handed whilst holding a coin in the other hand, the family is assured of prosperity throughout the coming year.

Ancient Britain: Celts celebrated with foods made with butter and milk – bannocks, for example were a type of flat griddle scone.

Southern and Central Mexico, and Guatemala City: Día de La Candelaria is celebrated with tamales, a traditional Latin American dish made of starchy corn dough, steamed and wrapped in a leaf. Tamales are often filled with meats, cheese, vegetables, chillies etc. The Spanish throw a party, hosted by the person who found the baby Jesus in the Roscón cake at Epiphany.

Grab a bite at Bolillo Tortas to celebrate Candlemastoday!

Where did the torta come from? Basically, it’s a Mexican sandwich, which may or may not have come about due to French influences. In fact, the history of the torta is rather sketchy.

There is speculation that during the French occupation, Mexican bakers took inspiration from the French baguette, which is a hard crusty bread. They used similar bread dough to create smaller loafs called bolillo and telera. The bolillo is oval shaped and has a crusty exterior and soft interior while the telera is slightly larger, rounder and has a crease or two in the middle. A great torta is defined by the bread having enough texture to hold up, being soft enough to bite and large enough to contain a plethora of ingredients.

Tortas will also take on distinct flavors based on the Mexican regions where they are made. In Guadalajara, rolls filled with roast beef, ham or milanesa (breaded steak) are dipped in a large jar of thick, hot salsa. In Monterrey and the state of Sonora, the favorite is the carne asada torta. In Tijuana, milanesa and turkey tortas are favored.

Out of Mexico, you may encounter more westernized tortas with ingredients that could include anything from smoked salmon to grilled vegetables to ham. Not being traditional doesn’t make them any less delicious. Come into Bolillo to try for yourself!