Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on May 5th every year to observe and commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in Mexico and is more widely celebrated in the United States as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. Typical traditions in Mexico include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events.

Many people outside Mexico mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican independence, which was actually declared more than 50 years before the Battle of Puebla. Independence Day in Mexico (Día de la Independencia) is commemorated on September 16 every year. Right, that’s enough of the history lesson!

We’ve pulled together five authentic Mexican dishes that are sure to help you celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the most authentic way possible.

Tacos

We couldn’t talk about traditional Mexican food and not mention tacos. This dish consists of soft or crunchy corn tortillas that can be filled with meat, vegetables or seafood with a healthy dose of taco seasoning, crisp lettuce, grated cheese, and salsa. But don’t let us tell you, there are so many ways to build your perfect taco that we welcome any interpretation.

If you want to give these tacos a try to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, check out the Barbacoa Taco from Burrito Loco in Donegal and maybe the Vegetarian Taco from Tolteca in Dublin.

Enchiladas

Dating back to Mayan times, the practice of rolling tortillas around other food is ingrained in Mexican history. And if it’s good enough for the Mayans it’s good enough for us! In a nutshell, an enchilada is a corn tortilla wrapped around a filling and covered in chili pepper sauce. Again, another versatile dish as these bad boys can be created for your own personal tastes filled with your choice of meat or seafood, beans, cheese, vegetables, and potato. Commonly topped or garnished with cheese, sour cream, lettuce, olives, chopped onions, chili peppers, salsa, or fresh cilantro. *brb ordering now*

Try something new tonight with a Pulled Pork Enchilada from Amigo Californian Burrito Bar in Waterford.

Quesadilla

The quesadilla is an essential recipe and meal in Mexican culture. Its versatility is one of the reasons this dish is so popular all over the world. A quesadilla is a flat circle of cooked tortilla, warmed to soften it enough to be folded in half, and then filled. Typical fillings in Mexico include just stringy cheese. The quesadilla is then cooked on a comal until the cheese has completely melted. Modern interpretations have seen additions of meats, peppers, onions with salsas and guacamole added as sides. Just go and order yours now, don’t worry about finishing reading the blog post, we understand.

Have we tantalized your taste buds enough? Give the Lamb Chorizo Quesadilla from Saburritos in Dublin a shot.

Nachos

Nacho-average Mexican dish! (We had to get a pun in there) originating from northern Mexico in 1943, the story goes that the wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in nearby Eagle Pass were in Piedras Negras, and arrived at a restaurant after it had already closed for the day. The maître d’hôtel, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, under pressure created a new snack for them with the little ingredients he had available in the kitchen. This dish consists of tortilla chips covered with melted cheese or a cheese-based sauce (like you didn’t know!). There are many elaborate versions that add meat, other cheeses, salsa, guac and sour cream. In any variation, it’s all so good.

Now that you’re 110% salivating over the idea of nachos you need to check out the Extremo Nachos from Amigos in Dublin, they’re topped with barbacoa beef, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese.

Tamales

Tamales originated in Mesoamerica as early as 8000 to 5000 BC (holy, that’s a long time ago!). Believed to be first developed for the Aztec, Mayan and Inca tribes to take to battle. In modern Mexico, tamales begin with a dough made from corn, called masa, and vegetable shortening. Tamales are generally wrapped in corn husks or plantain leaves before being steamed. They usually have a sweet or savory filling almost always containing chilies and are steamed until firm and have become a popular comfort food in Mexico.

If you haven’t already left us to order your Mexican fix, you can explore where your nearest Mexican restaurant is on Just Eat!