Stomaching stomach

When Cinco de Mayo falls during Teacher Appreciation Week, good things happen. Especially when your school population is 80% Hispanic and several moms are willing to throw the teachers a giant, homemade fiesta!!

I walked into the lounge today and was met with a delicious spread of tacos, enchiladas, tamales, queso, and three kinds of homemade salsa: hot, hotter, and set-your-mouth-on-fire.

I took samples of quite a few things, and after I had finished what was on my plate, I contemplated going back for more. I was sitting across from Ms. M (who also happens to be Hispanic) who seemed to be enjoying a cup of soup of some sort. When I asked her what it was, she said it was called "menudo" and that it was delicious.

So I went and got some.

It looked more like a stew than a soup. I ate quite a few bites since it was tasty, but after a while, the consistency of the unidentifiable meat started to bother me so I discreetly threw the rest of it away.

Ten minutes later, when I was back in my portable chatting with three other staff members, I asked my aide (also Hispanic) if she had tried the "menudo".

"The menudo? Do you know what's in that?" she looked at me skeptically.

"Um. No....."

"It's cow's stomach!" She couldn't stop giggling.

Another staff member shook my hand and congratulated me on my "bravery" ("I've never known a white person to go near the stuff!" she claimed).

My aide made me an honorary "brown person" (and she's allowed to say stuff like that because she's Hispanic...)

Then the speech pathologist made me this badge, which I wore with pride for the rest of the day:


Note to self: bring a Spanish-English dictionary to the next Cinco de Mayo potluck!

13 comments:

Sarah Garb said...

Oh. My.
Stomach! Nothing says teacher appreciation like it! Glad to hear you survived :)

Anonymous said...

So completely jealous. I should have added to my top 10 list to have a real deal authentic fiesta!
Congratulations brown person. I think I would rather have cow stomach over clam chowder!

las felicitaciones en su valor

Melissa said...

Is that the same as tripe?
Congrats on climbing that mountain!

Sharlene T. said...

Sometimes it's better not to know what is in the stew and just enjoy it. Tripe is the first and second stomachs of ruminating animals...cows, sheep, etc...Good that you put it down. Don't want to overdo on a new cuisine!

Randy et Jan said...

Hey, I am not surprised you kept it down with your childhood experiences!!! After your cow tongue and lamb's brain at your French cantine....you're a pro!! Love you, Mom

A 2 Z said...

I also ate that while in Japan but I did not get a badge for it. I'm jealous... Have a nice weekend!

Anne-Marie

Priscilla said...

Oops haha! It could've been worse.

Shayna said...

I'm jealous - my mother teaches in a Hispanic area and at Christmas a parent brought in enough tamales for the class (and a few other classes!) and the teachers to take home... they were amazing! (I'm desperately hoping she has the younger sibling next year so I can have one again!)

Congratulations on trying menudo... I'm Jewish and it took me until this year to try Stuffed Derma (aka Kishka) ... and I still don't want to know what's in it!

TeachEnEspanol said...

Ahaha, that's awesome. Having lived in Mexico, I've tried the stuff too. I wasn't made an honorary Mexican, however, until I was student teaching and we were talking about slavery and all of my little 6th graders looked at me accusingly for being oppressive. My cooperating teacher (who is Hispanic) explained to them that I have a "brown heart." :)

Low Mona said...

My husband is 1/2 Mexican, and although his dad is white, his dad loves the stuff!

Elissa said...

I have unknowingly eaten cow tongue. And although it was very good, I could not bring myself to eat anymore after finding out what it was.

Congrats!

Rachel said...

Oh, I love menudo! Although I'm not sure if the way it is cooked there in North America is the same way it is cooked back home in the Philippines.

I'm thinking of going to teaching myself but I'm still having second thoughts. I like kids, but I'm not sure if I can handle all their dramas. :)

Elizabeth said...

I have to say lamb brain is the strangest thing I have ever tried. Very tasteless compared to cow's stomach I suppose. Although, one thing that has to be the grossest would have to be chitlins!

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