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The Mexican Revolution and its Culinary Legacy

One of the biggest holidays in Mexico is Mexican Revolution Day on November 20th. Though exclusively Mexican, its impact in American culture is just as profound.

Published: Friday, November 1, 2013 | 7:08 AM

The Mexican Revolution spawned one of the most famous figures in Mexican history in Pancho Villa. Taking place from 1910 to 1920, the Mexican Revolution was virtually a war between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots.’

While the rich got richer, the poor were poorer than ever. Incensed by this disparity, Pancho Villa led his men down from the hills to join the revolutionary forces soon after Francisco I. Madero’s declaration of war.

A new constitution was written in 1917, though the fighting continued until 1920, and the US government openly supported the Mexican government, which angered Villa. Taking matters into his own hands, Villa raided US border towns and many Mexicans saw him as the avenger of yanqui (Yankee) oppression.

Assassinated in 1923, Villa is remembered with much pride and respect by Mexicans all over and holds the dubious distinction of being the only foreign military personage ever to successfully invade continental US territory.

It is interesting to note that one of Pasadena’s beloved restaurants, Mijares, owes its existence to the Mexican Revolution. Founder and matriarch Jesucita Mijares founded the restaurant after fleeing the revolution, and the fruit of her struggles and hard work has resulted into one of the finest and beloved Mexican restaurants in the area today.

Call it destiny, fate, or pure luck, the Mexican Revolution was a significant contributor to why many Mexicans came to live in America in the early 1900s, and in effect, brought Mexican food to be part of American culture.

In Mexico, Mexican Revolution Day is celebrated with traditional festivities such as bazaars, parades, presentations, songs, poetry, and of course, food.

In America, citizens of Mexican descent, and otherwise, join in on the festivities and celebrate the holiday with feasts and gatherings. In these events, one can expect a host of Mexican dishes such as enchiladas, tostadas, tacos, flautas, fajitas, tamales, and an overflowing supply of tequila.

Join in on the celebration at one of Pasadena’s favorite Mexican restaurants, Mijares. Looking to celebrate Mexican Revolution Day? What better place to celebrate than at the restaurant that was borne of the revolution itself?

To learn more about Mijares Restaurant, visit or call (626) 792-2763.  Mjares Restaurant is located at 145 Palmetto Drive; and at 1806 E. Washington Street.