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