10.18.2013

A day in L.A: Celebrating Dia de los Muertos with Nestlé® Abuelita #vivecultura



I recently had the pleasure of visiting the HQ for NESTLÉ® Abuelita™ chocolate and NESCAFÉ® Café de Olla here in Southern California. I had such a wonderful time last year that I couldn't wait to return and experience Dia de los Muertos with my fellow Latina bloggers once again.


As I walked into the large Nestlé building in Glendale, I pondered what the day had in store for me. I knew I was going to see familiar faces, enjoy yummy treats and listen to other people share their recollections of Dia de los Muertos and what it means to them.


Being a creative person, I loved walking into the room where we would spend the afternoon and see all of the creative interpretations of this holiday. Altars, sculptures, masks, flowers, calaveras, sugar skulls--these are all vital components to celebrating Dia de los Muertos.


This year, we had the pleasure of enjoying the presence of la catrina y el catrin in the storytelling portion of the day, given to us from Daniel Galo, Dia de los Muertos expert.


The Abuelita hot chocolate was on tap, which was heavenly. What made my day even better? I got to spend the day with my two sweet friends (and fellow Latina Blogstars), Monique from Blogs by Latinas and Nicole from Presley's Pantry.


Another highlight of my day with Nestlé was participating in a shrine workshop being led by my crafty bff  Kathy Cano-Murillo and her talented hubby, artist Patrick Murillo. Paint, Frida, calaveras, flowers, glitter, tacky glue and Abuelita hot chocolate? Now you are speaking my love language.

I'm happy to share that I've finally learned how to make pan de muerto. What is pan de muerto?  "Bread of the dead" is sweet bread that is traditionally baked in Mexico during the weeks leading up to Dia de los Muertos. It's shaped liked a bun and decorated with bone-like shapes of dough on top. I was surprised at how easy it was to make. Of course, the Nestlé test kitchen had everything we needed all laid out for us, so that might've had something to do with it.


At the end of the day, they brought out the bread we made, and it was piping hot and delicious-smelling. It took everything I had to not tear into it that minute! I waited until I got home to eat it with a steaming cup of Cafe de Olla. The best part of the bread? The anise seeds. The recipe only calls for a tablespoon of them, but they were so fragrant and delicately flavored the bread throughout. 


You can find the pan de muerto recipe from Nestlé here. I promise, it is delicious.

Nestlé is also returning as a sponsor of the 14th Annual Dia de los Muertos event at the historic Hollywood Forever Cemetery in L.A on November 2nd, from noon to midnight. If you enjoy celebrating Dia de los Muertos, this event is a must. It is amazing--a feast for your senses, for sure. If you decide to attend, please please plan to get there early. They are estimating 45,000 people in attendance this year! Wow.

I can't wait to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. It's always such a special time. Thank you, Nestlé, for inviting me and allowing me to share what this day means to me and my family.

Get social with Nestlé and Abuelita 
Follow the #vivecultura hashtag on Twitter, too!

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, but I was invited by Nestle to spend the day at their event. As always, this post is 100% my own true and honest experience.

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