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Cinco curiosities for Cinco de Mayo

Photo by Leslie Berestein Rojas/KPCC

No, this isn't going to be one of those posts telling you that Cinco de Mayo isn't Mexican independence day, and that it's really a celebration of the Mexican army's victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862. If you read this blog, you most likely know that.

It's also not going to be a rant against the rampant commerce related to the holiday as a drinking-fest in the United States, because you already know about that, too. But there are other curious facets to how Cinco de Mayo is celebrated and used, for commercial and other purposes, in the U.S. And chances are you haven't seen these compiled on one list. So let's start.

1) There is epic avocado consumption

Superbowl Sunday has long been held as the day of days for guacamole-snarfing revelry each year, but Cinco de Mayo rivals it. One estimate this year cited 81 million pounds of avocados destined for the big 5/5 mashup, to be consumed on chips and taquitos by margarita-drinking party people. (And this is no news flash, but beer, tequila and chips sales get a nice boost, too.)


'Hispanic-flavored dishes' and other ethnic-inspired, um, treats

Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, but its effect on that peculiar cuisine known as "ethnic-inspired" continues. For a limited time only, at least.

This morning I ventured into an International House of Pancakes to try one of a few Cinco de Mayo-related items promoted in a recent news release as "Hispanic-flavored dishes." I didn't think that flavor had been popular since the Spanish conquistadors stumbled upon the Caribs, but what do I know? The flavor in question didn't involve humans, fortunately, but chilaquiles.

From the news release:

With ethnic-inspired entrees predicted to be the top breakfast food trend of the year, IHOP, one of America's favorite restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is turning up the heat with Hispanic-flavored dishes headlining its new Double Cheese Scrambles limited time offer.

Inspired by the traditional Mexican dish chilaquiles, IHOP's new Tortilla Scrambles feature fluffy scrambled eggs with crispy yet soft tortilla chips, enchilada sauce with melted jack and cheddar cheeses topped with sour cream and chopped green onions.