Catholics practice fasting and abstain from eating meat on Fridays during the Lenten season, as a sign of sacrifice. This calls for a vegetarian diet, to say the least, full of cheese, beans and fish.
Catholics make up approximately 24 percent of the United States population, which is one of the lowest numbers in four decades, according to Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Of them, 54 percent are Latino according to a Gallup Poll.
The following are a list of traditional Mexican dishes that are eaten during the Lenten season. Of course, these vary depending on family and traditions. Many times, families get together on Good Friday before the Easter celebration to eat.
Here are ideas for your Good Friday meal in no particular order:
1. Shrimp Patties: These fried egg patties are drenched in sauce made from dried ancho chilies, nopales, or cactus slices, and shrimp powder. These patties are traditionally served with rice and beans on the side.
2. Chiles Rellenos: These poblano peppers are seeded, stuffed with cheese, dipped in an egg batter and fried for a hot, cheesy meal. Tomato sauce is poured over the pepper for a delicious topping. It is also typically served with Mexican rice and sour cream.
3. Tortas de Papas: These patties made from potatoes, stuffed with cheese and fried in egg batter, as chilies rellenos. Drenched in tomato sauce and served with rice is the way to go. Don’t forget the dollop of sour cream!
4. Lentil Soup: Lentils are delicious when made with bits of onion, celery and chicken stock for flavor. Filled with protein, magnesium, folate, iron and vitamin B, this little bean in soup is a great lunch or even dinner if you eat enough of it.
5. Capirotada: This delicious bread pudding isn’t the best for you, but is eaten during the season as a dessert on Good Friday. Made from french bread and covered in raisins, walnuts, pieces of cheese, cinnamon and syrup, this dessert is delicious served hot or cool. Many families have different recipe traditions, so find or ask about your favorite recipe.
6. Nopales: Cacti has a ton of benefits. It is high in fiber and vitamin C. Nopales make its way into the Mexican diet in different ways. Nopales can be cooked with egg, added to sauces or served as a side.
7. Ceviche: This delicious seafood cocktail can be made with white fish or shrimp. Served cold, this dish is a mixture of your preferred seafood, olives, minced tomatoes, onions and avocado mixed together with tomato sauce. Eaten on crackers or on it’s own, once you’ve had ceviche you’ll make it regardless of the season. Served after refrigerated is great, especially when warmer weather comes around.