La Llorona

llorona

This is the most well-known and well-feared in all of Mexico. It’s been passed down from one generation to another and there’s even some people who claim they’ve caught her on film. The origin date of this particular legend is unknown, but what is certain is that it’ll make the hairs on the back of your head stand on end. This is the story of La Llorona (The Wailer), a wandering soul that roams the streets at night weeping and wailing in sorrow. Her heartrending wails shake the windows of every house, her moaning so full of sorrow that it makes dogs howl and the chill of her pain freezes the streets and the souls of all who hear them.

La Llorona is the ghost of a woman condemned to walk the earth for all eternity as a punishment for murdering her children. There are many versions of this story, but all of them share the same tragic end. In some states it’s the story of a woman from a modest family that fell madly in love with a handsome and wealthy Spaniard who, after finding out she’s so obsessed with him, seduces her so he can take her to bed but as soon as he found out she’s pregnant he vanished without a trace. Others say that it’s the Malinche, the woman who served as an interpreter for Hernán Cortés. Said woman fell in love with him but was cast aside when she became pregnant. Such was her love for Cortés that she killed her new-born child just so he would stay with her. Yet another version says a young woman from a wealthy family got pregnant from a man from a poor family. Her parents found out and hid her so nobody could talk behind her back for having relationships out of wedlock. As soon as her child was born, the young mother was forced to drown the baby in the river and, even worse, she had to let the current drag the body away so she wouldn’t have to bury him and raise suspicion.

Losing a son is an experience no mother wants to go through, but killing them yourself is a whole other can of worms. The Weeping Woman wanders at night weeping and wailing her eternal suffering. Legend says she always cries “Ay, mis hijos!” (Oh, my children!), and many say it’s true. Others say it’s just a cry so cold and creepy it freezes you completely, rendering you immobile. Some others have seen her and describe her as a pale woman with long, straight black hair dressed in white with a face distorted into a perpetual expression of sorrow.

You might not believe me, but maybe you’ll believe the video in this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goktY3OxIkA

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Pozole

pozoleMexican cuisine is very diverse, full of colours, flavours, scents and designs. You can’t say you’ve been to Mexico if you’ve never tried enchiladas de mole, red chilaquiles, tamales de rajas, some real tacos, tamales, tlacoyos, esquites, huaraches (not to be confused with the footwear of the same name), mole de olla, and… pozole.

Pozole is a traditional soup in this country, made with cacahuazintle corn kernel, chili, various vegetables like lettuce, radish and onion and flavoured with meat like beef, chicken or most commonly pork. It”s quite popular in patriotic holidays like Independence Day (that’s on September 16th, not Cinco de Mayo) or the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution on November the 20th, when families get together to eat a hearty dose of pozole served in clay bowls accompanied with tostadas with sour cream. Cooking it is quite an art and eating it, a privilege. Pozole is a prehispanic dish and back then only the emperor could eat it. What you’re about to read is not a legend but a true story, though it’s so creepy you wouldn’t believe it.

Fray Bernardino of Sahagún relates in his book “General History of the Things of New Spain” that our traditional soup was originally made with human meat. Yes, you read correctly: human meat.

During spring, Aztecs would celebrate a party in honour of their god Xipe Tótec (The Flayed Lord) so he would be generous and give them a bountiful harvest. Part of the ritual for this celebration included making a serving of pozole using the meat of a prisoner of war. The Spaniards, horrified at such an act of cannibalism did all they could to eradicate such a custom and belief, forcing upon the native inhabitants the Christian faith by giving them catechism lessons.

In time the human flesh was replaced with Xoloitzcuintle dog meat, a breed of dog native to Mexican lands which has been hunted almost to the point of extinction, making it an endangered species. So, is Xoloitzcuintle meat similar in taste to human meat? Well, guess we’ll never find out. This situation forced people to once again change the main ingredient and now it’s cooked with pork, chicken of beef or even, in some states, with shrimp.

With such a creepy origin you might not want to try it anymore, but it’s a dish as famous for its origins as for its flavour so don’t miss out on a chance to give it a taste. After all, it was a delicacy worthy of emperors.