Before you embarrass yourself with tequila shots and sombreros (for the love of god, put down the sombreros) take a moment to re-educate yourself about Cinco de Mayo's actual origins so that you don't end up in an offensive Instagram pic.
No, it is not Mexican Independence Day (that'd be September 16). Instead, the holiday commemorates Mexico's unlikely victory over French troops at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, though the French did later go on to win the war.
While it's not as widely celebrated in Mexico as the United States (unless you're in the Mexican state of Puebla), it's still treated as a source of pride for many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Which is why it's perfectly fine to serve Tex-Mex food to celebrate this occasion, as chef Courtney McBroom will tell you.
The native Texan will fervently defend her version of queso—a creamy processed cheese dip filled with what's essentially taco fixins. It's dirty, it's easy, and it'll make you stand out against the dozen bowls of guac and piles of fake tortillas at your Cinco de Mayo party.
And don't invite France to this fiesta: McBoom prefers processed cheese like EZ Melt (Velveeta will do, too) over fancy cheeses like brie.