Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos honors loved ones who have passed away, celebrating on the day that the dead are said to return to earth. The centerpiece of any Dia de los Muertos celebration is the altar, a richly adorned table set with food, drinks, and gifts that will entice the deceased to return for a visit.
And while celebrations vary from family to family and town to town, on every altar you’ll find a variation of pan de muerto — a sweet roll decorated with pieces of dough that look like bones. The idea is that the dead will be able to find their families with more ease with the help of the warm, slightly sweet smell of pan de muerto.
At Guadalupana Bakery in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood, owner Maria Rojas honors loved ones lost through a variety of breads and pastries, but the star remains the pan de muerto, ideal with Mexican hot chocolate.