Comfortably Hungry
Comfortably Hungry
S2 Episode 1: Day of the Dead

S2 Episode 1: Day of the Dead

Wipe away the tears and celebrate....

Welcome back to Season 2 of the Comfortably Hungry Podcast!

Today is the 2nd of November (unless of course you are listening to this episode after this date). In the Christian calendar it is known as All Souls Day and in Mexico specifically Dia de los Muertos or day of the dead. But as we shall see it is far from a mournful occasion.

To the modern Mexican death doesn't have any meaning. It has ceased to be the transition, the access to the other life which is more authentic than this one. But the unimportance of death has not taken it away from us and eliminated it from our daily lives. To the inhabitant of New York, Paris, or London death is a word that is never uttered because it burns the lips. The Mexican, on the other hand, frequents it, mocks it, caresses it, sleeps with it, entertains it; it is one of his favourite playthings and his most enduring love. It is true that in his attitude there is perhaps the same fear that others also have, but at least he does not hide this fear nor does he hide death; he contemplates her face to face with impatience, with contempt, with irony: 'If they're going to kill me tomorrow, let them kill me for once and for all.’ Octavio Paz The Labyrinth of Solitude (1959)

In this episode my guest is Maite Gomez-Rejón an educator, writer and cook who explores the connection between art and culinary history with Artbites. She has recently curated two exhibitions at LA Plaza Cocina in Los Angeles, Maize: Past, Present & Future and The Legacy of Cacao. When you have a moment do check out Maite’s podcast with actor Eva Longoria Hungry for History. We are taking a look at the role chocolate plays in the Day of the Dead celebrations.

Maite Gomez-Rejón with donut
Maite Gomez-Rejón

Are there any chocolatey subjects you’d like me to explore further? Let me know in the Subscriber chat.

Useful Links

Maite’s website is Artbites and you can find her on Instagram @artbites_maite

Hungry for History Podcast with Maite & Eva Longoria. In particular you may like these episodes:

Pan Dulce y Dia de los Muertos

Chocolate: The Food of the Gods

Maite also recommends this Day of the Dead specialon Pass the Chipotle podcast

The British Museum produced this short film on the Day of the Dead celebrations.

Further Reading

The True History of Chocolate by Sophie & Michael Coe (1996)

The Essential Cuisines of Mexico by Diana Kennedy (2009)

Sacred Consumption: Food and Ritual in Aztec Art and Culture by Elizabeth Moran (2016)

Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World by Marcy Norton (2010)

Que vivan los tamales! Food and the Making of Mexican Identity by Jeffrey Pilcher (1998)

The Village in the Valley by Corinna Sargood (2021) (for an evocative description of the Dia de los Muertos celebrations from a British perspective)

If you’d like to find out more about Josefina Velazquez de Leon (the subject of the next exhibition Maite is curating at LA Plaza Cucina) take a look at The Forgotten Legacy of Mexico’s Original Celebrity Chef from Saveur (2016).

Additional music (Mexican Dia De Muertos Mariachi composed by Brais González) produced by Blue Panda, sourced via Pond5.

Comfortably Hungry
Comfortably Hungry
Welcome to the comfortably hungry podcast where yesterday’s dinner is tomorrow’s history. If you’re a peckish person who is curious about the history of food and drink, then you’re in the right place. I’m Sam Bilton a food historian, writer and cook and each season I will be joined by some hungry guests to discuss a variety topics centred around a specific theme. As a former supper club host I’m always intrigued to know what people like to eat. So to whet everyone’s appetites I have invited my guests to contribute a virtual dish with them inspired by today’s topic.