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Oscar2

Jan 10, 2009, 11:38 AM

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Menudo or Pozole?

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Ah yes, albóndigas soup….I also don’t get much of an opportunity to eat it that often but it has always been one of my favorites, as well. There is another soup I also like “allot” is menudo. I’ve liked menudo for many years and surprisingly my travels of Central Mexico revealed that menudo just isn’t as popular as NoB.

It’s been kind of routine after a night of parting with friends, or family, where sometimes menudo always hits the spot the following morning. Especially when sprinkled with orégano, cebolla picada, cilantro, picante molido y tortillas de maíz calientitas.

While staying in San Miguel Alliende, we went to the Mercado a number of times and while there looked for menudo, unsuccessfully. I found it somewhat frustrating not be able to appease my taste buds for this Mexican dish, “especially” in Mexico. Every small food stand there, kind of looked at me like, what’s wrong with this guy, doesn’t he know its just not served here…… gurrrrrrr..

The first thing they would say is, “we have pozole,” and like, take it or leave it…shucks - So, I ate pozole in its place, which was good but I still had a penchant for menudo.

I got some quasi feedback of sorts which intimated that menudo wasn’t acceptable or something or another coloring it as unfavorable. Yes, this ticked me off because NoB, as far back as I can remember its always been a main Mexican dish and popular in locale restaurants.

Soooo…. What is the real skinny about meundo in Mexico, is it the tripe that’s a turn off? I find this kind of hard to believe especially when cabezas y los ojos (I like cabezas but pass on los ojos) plus lengua are so popular. I know there are other popular morsel's which I can't remember all of them but I think tripas is one of them.....

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Jan 10, 2009, 11:27 PM)



sergiogomez

Jan 10, 2009, 1:26 PM

Post #2 of 20 (9568 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Menudo or Pozole?

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I'm a little surprised that you couldn't find menudo anywhere. Maybe you'll have to invite yourself to somebody's house...Almost all of the local Mexican restaurants here serve menudo. Most of the restaurants are run by Mexican ladies from Zacatecas (sometimes it seems like half of Zacatecas moved north and set up shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma). That said, menudo is a "special" dish that they only serve on Sundays. They get up at 4 o'clock to make a huge vat, sell it all within a couple hours, and close early. Those same restaurants usually have pozole available during the week. At home, they usually make menudo more often than pozole, which only appears on special occasions. Menudo might show up on the dinner table once a month or so. It's kind of expensive and not very filling, at least compared to beans, rice, noodles, eggs, and cheese, which are typical fare. Both my boyfriend and I like the caldo from menudo but refuse to eat the tripe. I know some people who eat it and some who don't.


Rolly


Jan 10, 2009, 1:31 PM

Post #3 of 20 (9568 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Menudo or Pozole?

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In my area menudo is a Sunday dish made by housewives and sold out the front door, not by factories for sale in stores. You can find it by cruising around on Sunday morning looking for a sign on a house "Rico Menudo." Often you are expected by bring your own vessel -- casserole dish, small pail, or what ever.

In Lerdo it is mostly a winter dish. Some ladies offer it year 'round, but many make it only in the cold months.

Pozole is more common than menudo for two reasons: menudo is not as popular, and it takes much longer to prepare. It also stinks up the house while it's cooking, IMO.

Rolly Pirate


Anonimo

Jan 10, 2009, 4:51 PM

Post #4 of 20 (9549 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Menudo or Pozole?

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Oscar, when we were first in Zacatecas in 1991, I asked for pozole at a mudería. They told me that it's an afternoon dish. In the morning, you eat menudo! So, maybe it's a question of time.

(Note that in Pátzcuaro you can mind both pozole ( of a type I don't enjoy) or menudo, (which is quite inferior to othe menudo I've had) in the mornings.

At night, if I'm in la Plaza Chica, I vastly enjoy atole de grano.

I've detailed the end of my affair with menudo elsewhere.

http://mexkitchen.blogspot.com/...fronting-menudo.html

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


Oscar2

Jan 11, 2009, 9:05 AM

Post #5 of 20 (9514 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Menudo or Pozole?

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Very cool posts! In fact, to my chagrin and a stubborn Alzheimer’s which backs up on me in the most inopportune moments, I most apologies Olivia… November of 06’ while on a bit more than a month whirlwind Central Mexico trip, yes, I ate some delicious Menudo, as you mentioned, in Zacatecas. Rolly, never been to Lerdo, but liked the small community aspect of it being sold by some señoras at their doorways.

Allot of enjoyable stuff happened while in Zacatecas; least not forget the lovely 5 star hotel named Quinta Real. I was so taken by a throwback to another time, another place, with it’s carefully placed accoutrements and restorations of a historic bullring period that the food is almost secondary to the killer ambiance. The menudo there was delicious but the jaw-dropping feast for the eyes allows for chewing slower while digesting the surroundings.

Yes, Zacatecas, the menudo was excellent, especially at the Quinta Real’s wonderfully laid out Sunday Champaign brunch decorative tables. As in Anonimo’s excellent referred blog, it was also served steaming hot in a large clay olla (with a small flame beneath it) to keep it piping, as well.

You know, after reading Anonimo’s blog, its Sunday morning, and all this talk has built up a hankering for some delicious menudo at a restaurant called Jalisco’s……yummm!


Quote

http://www.quintareal.com/.../4-2-5,5-8-28,28-3-/

While on this website key-in several times on the selections to the right and left of the photos and you’ll get a much nicer tour.




Incidentally, Anonimo’s blog talks about squiggly, slimy stuff Mexicans eat, how about sesos (brains) anyone ….. Laugh

Also, as an aside, haven't heard from Jerezano lately? Read that post someone put up about Zacatecas kidnappings in his little town of Jerez, and wondering if he's okay?

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Jan 11, 2009, 9:12 AM)


Anonimo

Jan 11, 2009, 12:44 PM

Post #6 of 20 (9498 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Menudo or Pozole?

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Osacar, in our small, ranchería community, most Saturday mornings see a señora in a sedan drive up, stop and open the trunk in which resides a big pot of menudo. The wiggly squiggly tripas are in a separate container to the side.

You bring your own container if you want some. I have never bought any, but i imagine the price is low. I did smell it once. I firmly decided against trying it.

"En Boca Cerrada No Entran Moscas."

Saludos,
Anonimo


Carron

Jan 12, 2009, 1:25 PM

Post #7 of 20 (9453 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Menudo or Pozole?

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Here in Cd. Acuna the ladies sell menudo on Saturdays. Usually they take orders the week before, then deliver each 1-liter serving in a large styrofoam drink container with all the fixin's on the side. LIme, cilantro, chopped onions, chiles, etc. No matter who I buy from, the recipe always seems to taste the same--very good. It costs 20 pesos per liter.

Restaurants, on the other hand, seem to sell it all weekend and I have sometimes seen it on weekdays as well.

And, yes, I do eat the "worms"!!

Lots of wimpy cooks around here--especially Mexican-Americans across the river in Del Rio--also prepare a bland, thin version of pozole using a whole chicken or pierna de puerco instead of pig's head and feet. There is no rich, gelatinous quality to the soup at all. My daughter-in-law, whose family came from Guerrero, makes a particularly mild version with chunks of pork, the only way she can get her family to eat it. I am always thankful for all the condiments and some cake-like fresh corn tortillas to sop up the lightly seasoned liquid. Otherwise I would find these versions impossibly boring.


Oscar2

Jan 12, 2009, 5:31 PM

Post #8 of 20 (9435 views)

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Re: [Carron] Menudo or Pozole?

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Yesterday, Sunday, after all the menudo talk, the hankering got me to Jalisco’s Mexican restaurant where so many others and I keep that place crowded for good reason, their menudo and food is delicious.

It’s not a fancy restaurant, it’s a get down to the business of eating restaurant without all the bells and whistles. Of coarse when I signed in, the wait was about 10 minutes, but while waiting, it became abundantly clear the menudo was being ordered from many tables in the restaurant and even to-go.

Surprisingly, most of the large bowls of menudo were being sprinkled with copious seasonings offered at each table by a sort of Lazy Susan type tray/dish with all you would need to season it, including a nice size bowl of limons and a very nice covered container to keep the tortillas de maíz nice and hot, most of this was being done by women eating.

The owner operator, a woman in her fifties, waited on me, we rang up a conversation, and I told her about someone commenting on a blog that most menudo eaters are those machismo types and she apparently thought it hilarious because she broke out laughing, as if I had just cracked a joke.

She looked me straight in the eyes and with a glint of toy-fullness, pointed her finger at the female patrons and said, I’ve been serving menudo for 20 years, and what you see is what you get - more woman love menudo than men.

I asked her, do you put tripas in your menudo and she quickly replied, O’NO, we put nice pieces of tripe, which is the first stomach lining of the pig. We have many customers we do special orders for that ask for much more than the tripe, some ask for pigs feet and other kinds of meat or ask for more maiz (hominy).

She was very friendly and I think we became even better friends. She even sent me una fría (ice cold cerveza) on the house. I had a good time and the menudo was very, very good and so was la fría that went with it...

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Jan 13, 2009, 12:11 AM)


sergiogomez

Jan 12, 2009, 11:09 PM

Post #9 of 20 (9413 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Menudo or Pozole?

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It sounds wonderful, makes me wish I were there. On a side note, what is called tripe in English is menudo or panza (pancita) in Spanish. Tripas are guts. You know you're making friends when they start sending you free beer.

Still nothing from Jerezano?


Carron

Jan 13, 2009, 6:38 AM

Post #10 of 20 (9403 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Menudo or Pozole?

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I understand that the secret to making "unsmelly" menudo is to use lots and lots of oregano as it cooks.


Oscar2

Jan 13, 2009, 11:10 AM

Post #11 of 20 (9388 views)

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Re: [sergiogomez] Menudo or Pozole?

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Olivia, I know this isn’t the Spanish forum, but since the word Menudo is about food, I'd like to know what does it “really” mean. Curiously, I tried looking the word up and all I could come up with was it meant “often.” Go figure.. Where else are meanings found where it references some kind of food?

As an aside, and to the question about Jerezano, under normal circumstances absence would be seen as a respite or something else but due in part to the recent chilling post of kidnappings in Jerez, a small town in Zacatecas where Jerezano has lived for about 17 years, and is one of the most active members on this forum, personally, I'm sure concerns exist.

I’d like to believe he’s on his annual get and stay warm refuge, from the frigidity of Jerez this time of the year …… He speaks frequently of Tepic. Again, hopefully all is well, and we’ll either hear from him or about him…..soon....


bournemouth

Jan 13, 2009, 11:18 AM

Post #12 of 20 (9385 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Menudo or Pozole?

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I recall Jerezano saying he usually spends the winters in McAllen, Texas both for avoiding the cold and medical attention.


Oscar2

Jan 13, 2009, 3:16 PM

Post #13 of 20 (9372 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Menudo or Pozole?

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Yes, now I remember! Winter months, he has spoken of going for meds and the warmer Texas climate. Thanks for the reminder.


BajaGringo


Jan 14, 2009, 3:44 PM

Post #14 of 20 (9338 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Menudo or Pozole?

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There is nothing better in the cold of winter than a hot bowl of home made menudo with a cold Pacifico. Sounds good right about now...


Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


sergiogomez

Jan 23, 2009, 1:05 PM

Post #15 of 20 (9294 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Menudo or Pozole?

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Oscar, I apologize for taking so long to answer your question. The last few weeks have been a bit hectic as I have been juggling work, school, and had to leave the state for a court case where I was called as a witness. So, now I'm trying to catch up on everything.

Menudo, as far as I know, is the Mexican term for callos, or tripe, the first three stomachs of a cow. So it seems like using menudo to refer to food is a uniquely Mexican thing, even though if you Google "recetas menudo" you'll get a couple results from Spain. I'm assuming that the Spanish borrowed the term from Mexico, although I can't be sure. I've never heard menudo used to refer to any other dish or any animal part other than the stomach, if that helps. I feel like my answer is a bit all over the place, so let me know if I'm not answering your question.

What does "menudo" really mean? Just about everything but the kitchen sink. I think the RAE lists about 13 different meanings for it. The ones that come to my mind are

a menudo--often

menudo--cow stomach, also the dish that you eat

menudo--interjection, sort of a mild curse word. Like menudo frío que hace--it's really darn cold. Menuda sorpresa me das--what a surprise (often said with sarcasm or when startled).

menudo--small, as in ganado menudo, which would be lambs if you're talking about sheep, calves if you're talking about cows, etc.


MitchMan

Mar 8, 2009, 11:19 AM

Post #16 of 20 (9093 views)

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Re: [BajaGringo] Menudo or Pozole?

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BajaGringo, you didn't say much on this post, but you said it all.

I love menudo, good or bad. One thing that puzzled me is that I find it hard to find and it seems like most Mexican restaurants don't serve it. Funny thing, once when I was visiting Mexico City two years before the big earthquake they had, I asked around about where I could find some good menudo. Everybody looked at me kind of wierd and said that they had never heard of it. I didn't learn until I was about to leave that in Mexico city they called it "pancita" and I was asking everyone for "menudo". My loss.

Four things bother me 1)hard to find anyplace in the Baja that makes good menudo (or even any menudo) 2)can't find good tasting refried beans anywhere (not enough salt, sometimes not cooked enough, too much water added) and they only serve but about 3 or 4 ounces of it 3)can't find good old fashioned "hardy" home made, fresh made corn tortillas. You know, the kind of brown and thick very "maizie" kind. Last time I was passing through Ensenada and San Quintin, I couldn't find that kind of tortilla anymore. That can be said for southern Baja as well. Now, all of the restaurants serve the kind of insipid light colored and thin tortillas that you get at Von's and Ralph's supermarkets.

The fourth thing that bothers me, and this is the worst by far, I can't find any really good restaurants that serve good food, not even good authentic Mexican food. I thought that I was the only one who believed that, but I am finding more and more people who agree with me. Last year I was in Loreto and talking to the American owner of the fancy "Mediterraneo" restaurant located on the Malecon. We were talking about restaurant food and I told her that I also spend time in La Paz. She said something that I thought was shocking, "If you really think about it, there are no good restaurants in La Paz or Loreto, not one" after she said that, she stared at me straight in the eyes for about6 seconds, and then got up and left my table. She was absolutely, positively and unequivocally correct. There are a lot of "OK" restaurants, some a little more OK than others. But, this is Mexico. Probably the most important thing to Mexicans is food. They sell it everywhere and the locals pay nearly American prices for it. My neighbor and the local residents cook great food, but the restaurants are mostly mediocre at it.

In France the food is fantastic everywhere. In Montreal the food is very excellent, in New Orleans LA, the food is great. In Mexico the food is average...that's unacceptable and has got to stop!

I now avoid going to restaurants and mostly cook my own great food.


sergiogomez

Mar 8, 2009, 3:44 PM

Post #17 of 20 (9080 views)

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Re: [MitchMan] Menudo or Pozole?

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That hasn't been my experience. I've found some great restaurants in Baja. They tend to be small places squirreled away on winding streets, but they're clean, the food is terrific, and the prices are great. Bigger restaurants in the big cities might not be as good as the tiny places, but even then the food tends to be better than reheat, assemble, and serve chain restaurants like Applebees. It's like anything else; if you want to find a good place to eat, ask the locals for recommendations, and try several places until you find one you like.

I've never seen refried beans like the ones you mention in Baja. If you think those are bad, you should see some of the refried beans you can get in Zacatecas. Thick, pasty, almost no salt, the beans are hardly mashed or fried at all, and the whole mess sucks saliva out of your mouth like a sponge. Moral of the story: You can find bad cooks and bad recipes everywhere.


morgaine7


Mar 8, 2009, 4:47 PM

Post #18 of 20 (9075 views)

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Re: [MitchMan] Menudo or Pozole?

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I live in La Paz and love the food! I rarely go to alta cocina places, although there a couple of good ones. More often, I visit my favorite seafood taco stand or other little restaurants for chilaquiles and other stuff I'm too lazy to make at home. ;-) If you enjoy mainland style food, try Chilangos (sorry, but that's the name) on Colosio between Abasolo and Serdán. They serve regular and blue corn tortillas. Can't help you on menudo or frijoles since I don't care for them.

Too bad you weren't here for Carnaval. Tacos el Pastor were 5 for 40 pesos and delicious!

Kate


MitchMan

Mar 9, 2009, 3:08 PM

Post #19 of 20 (9020 views)

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Re: [morgaine7] Menudo or Pozole?

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Thanks SergioGomez and Kate for the response. Allow me to back-pedal just a little.

I found three restaurants in Loreto that I am OK with and a fourth that I actually liked. The one that I liked is the "Mediterraneo" which has a perfect 2nd story patio dining area that is absolutely perfect for viewing the ocean and the Isla Carmen island, especially at cocktail hour. However, I find it a little on the pricey side for me.

I am going to Loreto and La Paz for 12 days very soon and I am going to take a lot of video and photos for my www.Baja-Lots.com website. Also, I will get the specific names and exact description of the locations of the three aforementioned restaurants. They are not great gourmet spots, but the prices are good and the food is consistently very acceptable - not as good as it could be or should be, but comparatively speaking, sufficient.

In La Paz I do know of a couple of places that are OK. One is the Bismark restaurant which is across the street from the Malecon (boardwalk) about 1 mile farther in town than the Marina or the Los Arcos hotel. Very informal, the dining area which is the entire width of the restaurant is open to the street and to the ocean view. It serves only sea food. They always have a taco stand off to one side to capture street traffic and where seated patrons get there tacos from. I must say the shrimp tacos are very good if you stipulate that you want the shrimp to be hot when served. They have oysters and clams on the half shell that are very good (pricey though) and their shrimp soup is very good (lots and lots of shrimp and the broth is delicious).

Another place that is OK in La Paz is a restaurant called "El Taste" on the malecon just steps away from the Los Arcos restaurant and next to the immigration office. The portions are a little on the small side and the prices approach "pricey" but not quite pricey. The food is well prepared consistently and the service is always very attentive and polite. You get the feeling that they appreciate your patronage. So far, it's the best place for a decent breakfast that I have found, but I always leave there a little on the hungry side. They are never busy...something I don't understand because the food and service is decent and the place is very clean and well run. For some reason, other Malecon restaurants do much better business but their food really sucks. It seems to me that many tourists prefer the party atmosphere and glitz over the quality of food and service and I think that is why the restaurant owners haven't emphasized food quality.

There is a very fancy dinner house on the first floor of the Los Arcos hotel. It is a formal dining room overlooking the bay. Las summer the prices were great, unbelievably low. You could get a Spencer (rib eye) steak dinner for $14 USD. They must have hired an MBA because in one month the prices skyrocketed.

When I am in La Paz next week, I will try those restaurants that you mentioned, Kate. Also, I keep hearing about a "Tres Virgenes" restaurant in La Paz that I will try next week. I will report back my findings to you, if you are interested.

Hope that I don't sound too maniacal. I love three things is this world, my family, fishing, and food...in that order. When I can't see my kids and the fish aren't biting, there is always food...three times a day!


morgaine7


Mar 9, 2009, 4:25 PM

Post #20 of 20 (9009 views)

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Re: [MitchMan] Menudo or Pozole?

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I'll send you a PM with the restaurant info, since we're pretty far afield from Menudo and Pozole.

Kate
 
 
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