Very close to el Día de la Candelaria, when Mexicans celebrate the end of the Christmas season with tamales, a party of a very different ‘religion’ takes place: the Super Bowl.
The already amalgamated celebration of Día de la Candelaria, fuses the pre-Columbian tradition of making food and other offerings to several deities, along with the presentation of Christ at the temple. According to Jewish law, it was customary to bring a baby to the temple after forty days had passed from the day of the infant’s birth. Jesus would have been taken to the temple on February 2nd, which is when this festivity takes place.
Around the same time, and adding a layer of complexity to my world, I was quickly evangelized on the celebration of the Superbowl, which could very easily be considered a holiday. Intriguing as the game is, though, I have always been more fascinated by the soap-opera worthy plots, the off-the top commercials, and of course, the food.
Food was my easy way in, and when I was first asked to bring a dish to the party I thought it would be clever to bring chicharrón… I thought, this is really “pig skin” after all.
For a quick and easy to make a snack, serve chicharrón in a molcajete with avocado, salsa and warm tortillas.
Find this chicharrón with hot sauce, and other Mexican treats including nieves, guanabana popsicles, and even the regional jicaletas (a snack made with jicama and chile) at La Dulce Vida Nevería in Melrose Park. Flour chicharrones (an alternative to the pork version) as well as fruit with lime, salt and different chiles, are a staple of any Mexican childhood. Typically sold from street carts, likely with no health clearance, I am convinced this is how kids in Mexico build their immune system.
For those who, like me, are far away from home, La Dulce Vida offers a perfect antidote to homesickness with its large and carefully curated collection of Mexican goodies (from chocolate Abuelita to nieves and even esquites and tamales). For those who, like my husband, have developed a taste for guanabana popsicles, this place is a perfect spot to get your Mexico fix with your evening snack.
I am so excited to have found this place. Who knew that Chicago was so close to Mexico?
La Dulce Vida is open Monday to Sunday from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm 2015 W. Rice St. Melrose Park, IL 60160