NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey -- For the Roman family, owners of Gaby's Bakery in New Brunswick, New Jersey, the traditional "Pan de Muerto" or "Bread of the Dead" is more than just a key element in the Day of the Dead festivities.
For them, it is part of their family legacy.
Honoring their dead loved ones and reassuring them they are not forgotten is a duty that they celebrate and express every year through their baked bread of the dead, a custom celebrated in Mexico and throughout Latin America on November 1st and 2nd.
"Even though our ancestors didn't live here, their soul goes anywhere in the world. So we believe their souls come here. So in doing our altars, we believe our ancestors come because we serve them the foods they used to eat," said Gabriel Roman, owner of Gaby's Bakery.
The idea behind the "Pan de Muerto" and placing foods as an "ofrenda" or offerings is that the sweet scent of the bread and foods will guide the souls of their dead loved ones back home.
"This holiday specifically is about family, love and remind the one who has passed away that you still remember them and that you still care for them," said Gabriella Roman, daughter Gabriel Roman, and manager of Gaby's Bakery.
"For me it's very important to make sure that I learn from my parents and I make sure to teach my children to make sure this tradition doesn't die and it continues," said Gabriella Roman.
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Pan de Muerto: NJ bakery honors the dead with traditional Mexican bread of the dead