Pan de Muerto has arrived. In panaderías across Fort Worth you can now find the Mexican sweet bread next to conchas, cuernos, marranitos, and other pan dulce.

Pan de Muerto is prepared and eaten leading up to Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) observed the 1st and 2nd of November. Not to be confused with Halloween, this Mexican holiday commemorates and celebrates loved ones who have passed and is celebrated across Mexico as well as in the U.S. by Mexican-Americans, especially in states with strong Mexican heritage like Texas.

Día de los Muertos remains an important holiday for many, with varied forms of expression. Colorful altars or ofrendas are built and topped with loved ones’ favorite foods or treats next to photos, personal items and candles. These ofrendas can vary from small and simple to large and elaborate and can be for individuals or entire communities of people.

Pan de Muerto can also vary from place to place and baker to baker. Some are small, the size of conchas, others are much larger. Some used colored sugar on top, others plain, others still use sesame seeds. Some will contain orange water or orange zest, others will use anise seeds to give a sweet aroma to the bread.  The shape and design on top can also vary in different regions of Mexico, from human and animal figures to what most of us here in Texas will recognize: two or more sections of dough laid across the bun representing the bones, and a small circular piece on top representing the skull.

If you want to try it for yourself, you can find Pan de Muerto at many Mexican bakeries in Fort Worth. Go early and grab them in the morning as they often sell out by the afternoon.