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Oct 6, 2006 04:23 PM

Day of the Dead - 2006

Anybody know where I can find foods & products essential to the Day of the Dead celebration? I figure with the strong Michoacan continegent there is bound to be a good source in the area.

Specifically I am interested in:

Pan de Muerto (Day of the Dead Bread)
Sugar Skulls
Sempasuchitl (Marigold Flowers)
Copal (Mexican Incense)

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  1. You might contact Karina's in Petaluma -

    The Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland has a big Day of the Dead celebration but I can't point you to specific stores for those items.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      Great Tip Melanie.. u da bomb. I am going to host a tamale making party for my wive's euro-american (sounds nicer than gringo, no) family... and I was debating whether I would make the Black Mole myself or just us Trader Joe's Red Mole (which is pretty decent).... but now Karina's sounds like a good alternative.

      They are going on my Northbay To Do List!

      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        Here are two photographs of the just-baked pan de muerto at Karina's today.

        Mole paste from Oaxaca on display in the case, $10 per bag. Coloradito and one other one.

    2. Anyplace in SF? I'm looking for the same.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Maya

        Yeeaah, but again can't point to specifics. One year I went Mexican looking for the sugar skulls and found a few in the Mission that sold the small version at a market that I THINK was about 19th Street. Not a big help, but ask.

        I know La Michoacana in Vallejo will have the pan de muerto and is where I'm planning to buy my dead bread.

        IIRC, Casa Latina in Berkeley makes the bread, but call to ask.

        Like Melanie mentioned, Katrina's has the bread.

        1. re: Maya

          I think that several panaderias usually make skulls. I am sure you will find them if you wander around 24th Street you'll find pan de muerto and the skulls. Try panaderia La Reyna since I think their bread is the best on 24th Street - I am not sure if they make pan de muerto, but I'd start there.

        2. It was 3 or 4 years ago, I was in the Tropicana Market in late October and the bakery had: bread, and skulls.

          There was a display in front of a cash register, incense sticks in bags.

          I am not familiar with Sempasuchitl.

          The store also had a display of candy from Mexico.

          Tropicana Market is in San Jose, corner of Story and King.

          1. There's a Mexican party store in on International -- I can't remember the name, but it's on the north (uphill) side of the street in main shopping area in Fruitvale (somewhere on the 3400-3800 blocks) that probably has the skulls and the incense, and possibly some of the other stuff as well. And if you can wait for the Fruitvale Dia de los Muertos festival, there are sugar skulls of every possible size and design. Except I just googled it, and it's not until 11/5 this year, so you probably wouldn't want to wait.

            Edited: With rworange supplying the right term ("dulceria") I googled it:

            Dulceria La Rosa
            3606 E 14th St (Internationl)
            Oakland, CA 94601
            (510) 261-3346

            There's also another one farther out International that has a website and boasts of its bilingual staff (very helpful for us Euro-Americans):

            The festival itself is not particularly chowish, but worth going to anyway for the Aztec dancers, etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Yeah, that is probably the place to go. I asked at the Dulceria/party store near me and they suggested either waiting for the DOD event or trying the party store on Intl in Oakland. If you are SF based then check out party supply stores in the Mission.Look for the word dulceria on the sign and if not, then ask if they know where.

            2. I will be making my own sugar skulls!
              They had the molds at Sur la Table in years past. I don't see them on the web site currently.

              A resource with instructions and everything you need to know.