An element of Mexican gastronomy that mixes pre-Hispanic Mexican tradition and colonial heritage is undoubtedly PAN DE MUERTO or BREAD OF THE DEAD.
According to the oral tradition of Mexico, there are several versions of the origin of Pan de Muerto: one of them says that in pre-Hispanic times the inhabitants carried out human sacrifices in rituals, where a girl was sacrificed and her heart was submerged in a pot with amaranth to then be bitten as an offering. The Spanish, during the Conquest, found this situation so violent that they looked for a way to replace the ritual. So they created a bread of the dead made of wheat flour in the shape of a heart and covered with red sugar, to represent the heart of the young woman.
Here is the meaning of the symbols in this essential Mexican element of the Fiesta de los Muertos, particularly its important place on the mystical Altar of the Dead: (See infographic)