Living in northern California I am very aware of the area's Hispanic heritage, as are most of the supermarkets in my area.
So, what is the number one Cinco de Mayo item I have seen the two big chains here push?
I guess Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of freedom from being sober and as such has crossed national lines. One need not be Mexican to celebrate by hoisting a beer, margarita other other alcoholic drink.
Safeway featured a display at the front of the store full of margarita mixes and tequila. Albertson's was near the liquor section and featured pinatas (yes, the child's birthday party toy) in the shape of liquor bottles. Of all days not to have my camera in my purse! I had visions of the pinata being stuffed with plastic miniature bottles of booze and inebriated guests trying to whack it open with a stick and then scrambling to pick up the loot as it fell.
On another note, I was very proud to see how many people in this area supported the Hispanic and other immigrants on May 1.
By the way, the photo on this page is of aqua frescas, taken at a street fair in Tijuana this past December. These are refreshing non-alcoholic drinks, although I guess one could add something more potent to them to make an interesting cocktail. The one on the left is horchata (cinnamon and almond or rice or in Spain from tiger nuts), the other was jamaica (hibiscus flower).