In Which I Finally Try Mondongo/Menudo

(Post 79 of 233. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

Some months ago, my cleaning lady and I were talking about food. She asked if I had ever eaten mondongo/menudo, one of the iconic soups of Mexican cuisine. It is made with cow’s stomach and/or tripe. It is considered a hangover remedy and is traditionally sold on weekends in Mérida. Such a thing really does not appeal to me, so I hadn’t.

Well… with last Monday having been a holiday, her schedule was a bit off this week and she ended up coming today, Saturday, instead of Wednesday. She remembered our conversation and brought a portion of mondongo/menudo for us to share! I popped out to get some warm, fresh tortillas while she portioned out the soup and “condiments” (chiles, cilantro, lime). The cost of living is going up — tortillas are now 20 pesos a kilo when they had been 18 since I moved here. I buy a quarter kilo at a time, which was 4.5 pesos, but now it’s 5 pesos (0.03USD difference). Insignificant for me, not so much for the average Mexican.

The broth was tasty enough, with a strong tomato flavour, but otherwise very bland and greasy, as is typical in Yucatecan cuisine. You really need the acid from the limes and the heat from the chiles to cut through that heaviness.

The cow stomach had no flavour at all, to my immense surprise, just like the pork stomach had no flavour either, but the texture was awful to my palate. The outside was rather gelatinous and the inside was fatty. This is definitely not a dish that I would voluntarily eat again, but I’m glad the proverbial ice was broken in case it is offered to me.

Yup, that’s just fatty tissue. Not my idea of a good time.