Get Your Sugar Skulls!

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It’s time for the Harvest season holidays, and of course, all the requisite fun stuff that comes along with it! For United Statesians it might be pumpkins, costumes, and candies. Mexicans usually favor marigolds, pan de muerto, and sugar skulls. (And Chicanos get to pick and choose from either tradition, being ni de aqui, ni de alla has its upside!) The Dia de los Muertos traditions and iconography have quickly seeped into the mainstream non-Mexican culture. Shit, it’s even been crassly commercialized by Target. In no time, the origins of those traditions will be forgotten, incorporated completely into Americana. (I can picture it now, the next generation of anti-Mexican xenophobes building altars and making ofrendas to Jim Gilchrist and Lupe Moreno; you know it’ll happen!) But whatever, that’s how living cultures work and I’m all for it. So if you want to get a head start on the (de)Mexicanization of the season, click ahead for suggestions of where to get your sugar skull supply.

The pic above is from my preferred source, a small bakery inside the Mercadito. The bottom row of that case has the big skulls, the largest (on the right) which goes for $7, next to the $5 one, and then the $3 skulls. I didn’t ask about the price for the tiny calaveras. The bonus at this spot, besides the fact that there is lots of free parking, is that they’ve already started making pan de muerto; some have the typical bone shaped decorations, but they also have some with text like “for the drunk that was my father-in-law” and others that are much more serious.

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You can find them at Lily’s, 2nd floor of el Mercadito. If you tell them I sent you, they’ll charge you double.

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Next place I’d suggest, is Olverita’s in Olvera St., you know, across from Union Station. It’s only $9.99 for the five pack on the 2nd shelf down, not a bad deal, though the decorations on the skulls seem much more hurried and mass manufactured. But maybe you just need a bunch for a particular trick-o-treating scene.

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This is the shop, near Cesar Chavez and the Cielito Lindo taquito stand.

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BTW, it seems they got rid of a few of the stalls, and these two were wrapped up in plastic as if they’re prepared to be moved. I wonder what’s going on.

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A final pic. In the end, we will all look like this. Nothing like acknowledging death to remind you to live fully. It’s a short ride, make the most of it!

7 Replies to “Get Your Sugar Skulls!”

  1. Outstanding. Loved the tag at the end “It’s a short ride, make the most of it!”. For years as a cube dweller much to my superiors dismay my scrolling screensaver read “Life is to short to take seriously”.

  2. Penny,
    No, you’re not supposed to eat them, they’re mostly decorative. A British friend of mine bought one at some event, and before I knew it he was chomping away at his skull! It didn’t taste too good, plus he started imagining he was feeling sick. Unless your an ant, it’s best to keep them away from the mouth.

  3. I just HAVE to get my ass to the Mercadito, sounds like the shit. I’ll make my pilgrimage ma√±ana…. and I think I’ll splurge on the $7 skull. That is tight!

    I’ll tell them you sent me.

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