Four per head of cattle

Sunday morning back home (I’m from a city called Durango in Mexico. I used to think it was really small – it turns out it’s bigger than Denver!) people get up late. I mean late, no one is up before ten am, except for those who work in food related businesses, such as restaurants and diners (called “fondas”), and even they don’t open until ten. And they mostly offer one of two dishes: barbacoa (shredded goat meat) or menudo (tripe). I’ll talk about the latter today, about the former tomorrow.

Tripe in Mexico is only consumed Sundays, for breakfast, and with one goal only: to cure the hangover you had from drinking Friday and Saturday, so you can actually start drinking beer with the soccer games. It’s heavily spiced with oregano, peppers, cumin, paprika, cilantro and onions. It’s a warm, spicy soup that is supposed to make you sweat and wake you up and remove every single feeling you might have about the alcohol you consumed.

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Photo from No Recipes
I am not sure I enjoyed it, maybe it wasn’t well cooked or I was expecting more. The taste was great – the blend of spices, a secret of the restaurant I went to, did what was supposed to do; warmed me up and made me sweat even though the temperature outside was close to 30F and inside wasn’t that warm either (we don’t use heating or furnaces that much, but that may change with the increasing colds we are getting). However, the texture was a bit rubbery and chewy, almost like eating meat taste chewing gum, so it wasn’t completely tasty.

Maybe if instead of the fancy restaurant had I gone to the old lady across the street that also sells tripe every weekend (since there’s a taco cart real close, and they serve hang over tacos) I would have had better luck. I didn’t go hungry though: I did finish my plate and kept with the other dishes I was eating. Who knows.

I don’t know if I will cook tripe any time soon (I’m leading towards no). Not because it can be gross (I eat liver for Gandalf’s sake) but because it is complicated and time consuming, mostly preparing the stomachs of the cow. The procedure that I know involves washing, rinsing, drying, soaking and squeezing, several times for several hours (the soaking, not the squeezing) before you can actually start cooking it, so it would be a big time commitment. But, I will keep it in the back burner, so yes, it is in consideration. If I find a good source!

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