Small Bites: Sweet skulls

Short Street Cakes hosts its annual Dia de los Muertos celebration, beginning Monday, Oct. 24 and continuing through Tuesday, Nov 1. During that time, calaveras de azúcar, Mexican-style sugar skulls, will be available for purchase at the shop. The skulls represent a departed soul and are traditionally placed on family altars to honor the return of the spirit during the Dia de los Muertos holiday. Short Street Cakes sets up a table with decorating supplies so that aspiring sugar crafters may creatively remember loved ones who have passed.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the sugar skulls will benefit the Coalicion de Organizaciones Latino-Americanas, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of Latino communities in Western North Carolina. "We wanted to acknowledge the source of the tradition and give respect to Latino culture," says Short Street owner Jodi Rhoden. "We also want to help people understand that there's something meaningful about this season — it's not just plastic ghosts and witches — and something powerful for families.”

The Short Street Cakes altar will be transported to Mayfels in downtown Asheville on Tuesday, Nov. 1, to join the Day of the Dead celebration in progress there, courtesy of self-described New Orleans royalty "Miss Glo," who describes her Dia de los Muertos altar as an interactive art installation. Miss Glo will be assisted by a team of local artists, writers and other helpers to make this year’s celebration both beautiful and fun, she says. Attendees are invited to bring offerings of food, candles and other treats to respectfully honor those who have passed. Miss Glo will disassemble the altar after the celebration is complete, returning any cherished possessions. She will ceremonially burn things that can be burned on her own property, and send the rest down the river in a small boat, crafted for the occasion. 

Mayfel's will have a bar set up in the courtyard as well as in the interior of the restaurant throughout the evening. This year, the kitchen is not open and the altar will be set up in the courtyard, weather permitting. A DJ will provide entertainment. The altar will open at 5 p.m. for the public to begin the celebration.

Mayfels is located at 22 College St. For more information, visit Short Street Cakes is located at 225 Haywood Road. For more information, visit

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