The Great Depression Online

Great Depression Online Archive Issue:

The Battle of Puebla

Great Depression Online
Puebla, Mexico
July 04, 2008 - Independence Day

Inside This Issue You Will Discover…

*** The Battle of Puebla
A Delight to the Senses
*** Chiles En Nogada
*** And More

The Battle of Puebla

We’re in a hurry today…so we’ll be brief.  First, a happy Independence Day to all.  We wish you a fun and safe day of celebration with friends and family. 

Coincidentally, today we find ourselves in Puebla, Mexico, where on May 5, 1862, a famous battle took place.  In the U.S., this day’s often mistaken for Mexico’s independence from Spain.  But that war was fought between 1810 and 1820, and independence is celebrated on September 16th. 

Cinco de Mayo is celebrated every year to commemorate the Battle of Puebla, which took place between Mexico and France.  What the French were doing in Mexico, we found – like most things – had to do with money. 

Mexico had stiffed France on some loans, and it was France’s desire to collect payment which led them on this misguided misadventure.  And on May 5, 1862, at the City of Puebla, Mexican forces defeated an attack by the larger French army.

Of note, outside of Puebla and the surrounding area, Cinco de Mayo is almost entirely ignored as a holiday…while for whatever reason, in the U.S., we make a big hullabaloo over it.

A Delight to the Senses

Puebla is a large colonial city of about 1.4 million people that’s located in a large valley surrounded by mountains and volcanoes, including the Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl volcanoes just west of the city.  Yesterday we visited the city’s center with Maribel’s Uncle Miguel and Aunt Lourdes, who are also visiting from the U.S.

Strolling through the shady Puebla zocalo is a delight to the senses.  On its south side is an enormous cathedral with two imposing towers; constructed between 1575 and 1690 it’s the second largest cathedral in Mexico.  The other edges of the zocalo are lined with shops and cafes.  The center area is filled with musicians, handicraft vendors, and food stands.

Puebla Catedral

Puebla Catedral - Puebla, Mexico

Chiles En Nogada

We ate Cocina Poblana – Puebla’s unique style of cuisine – for dinner.  We had the chiles en nogada, which is chilies with meat, fruit, and topped with walnut sauce and pomegranate seeds.  It was delicious.

That’s all the time we have for now…


M.N. Gordon
Great Depression Online

P.S.  No sales pitch today.  We’ve got a bus to catch to get back to Mexico City.


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