Tag Archive | "tacos"

Tripe Tacos: From one stomach to yours


By CHASEN MARSHALL

It’s hard to turn down an authentic looking and smelling taco. Beef and chicken – just keep ‘em coming! Nearly anything in a tortilla with a few key toppings is probably digestible. What about goat and pork stomach lining? Hmm, second thoughts.

A delicacy in most cultures, tripe is the edible offal from the stomach of various farm animals. In Italy it’s topped with Parmesan and pan-fried. In some Chinese restaurants it’s served in a soup. At Tehuitzingo Deli & Grocery in Hell’s Kitchen, it’s fried and topped with a secret seasoning and served on a flour tortilla with diced onions and cilantro.

Tehuitzingo is a small hole-in-the-wall joint festooned with a Mexican flag on the awning out front, and a green, white and red color palate throughout. Inside, a cooler full of Mexican cerveza, and a window at the rear of the store, manned by a small dark-skinned woman wearing an apron bode well for the ambiance, at least.

Tripa and sangre, as they appear on the menu, are pork tripe and goat tripe – to be clear: the lining of the primary digestive organ of a pig and a goat. The visual difference between the two couldn’t be more different. The goat meat was dark and resembled charred ground beef, whereas the pork was lighter in color and looked like half-cooked calamari. Both had a salty taste (though it may have been the seasoning) and were difficult to stomach at first (mainly because of the idea that it was going from one stomach to another). After the initial shock, it tasted like most any well-dressed Mexican taco that can be found at a small stand south of the border.

  • Share/Bookmark

Posted in Bizarre FoodsComments (0)

Snack on grasshoppers


By BESSIE KING

Although they are annoying to gardeners, grasshoppers are actually liked by some people. Liked enough to eat and savor.

This critter, like other bugs, is considered a snack in countries like Mexico, the Middle East and Thailand. So much so that food businesses offer them as average bar food.  And in New York, the place where oddities collide, finding grasshoppers to eat is not difficult either. Although you always have the possibility to raise you own, bodegas and ingredient stores in Chinatown sell already killed and cleaned grasshoppers. Saving you the hassle of growing, manually decapitating without crushing, and boiling the bug to cook.

Once you get your grasshoppers, which will look red rather than brown because they have been boiled, you can marinade them in limejuice and spices or your favorite seasoning. In a warm frying pan with little or no oil, since the grasshoppers will have some liquid from the marinade, they can be fried. Let the fried grasshoppers cool and when ready start munching. To avoid the hassle of finding and cooking this bug altogether you could also head to Toloache, a modern Mexican restaurant owned by chef Julian Medina.

A native of Mexico City, Medina grew up eating grasshoppers, or “chapulines” in Spanish, as snacks. When he opened his business he added something familiar to the menu. “It’s really taken off at the restaurant and people come in and order it a lot,” said Jennifer Neugeboren, press representative for Toloache. You can also find businesses that sell chocolate covered grasshoppers, for those with a sweet tooth, or ethnic restaurants that ground, jelly, roast, and dip grasshoppers in honey.

Regardless of how they are cooked grasshoppers are a very good source of protein. In some places, like rural Africa, they are an integral part of a meal to add fats, minerals and vitamins to people’s diets. So, don’t rule this dish out of your diet just yet.

  • Share/Bookmark

Posted in Bizarre FoodsComments (0)