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Drawing a line July 16, 2015

Posted by stinawp in Uncategorized.
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June 20, 2015

Today we had mondogo (tripe) soup for lunch. It was well-prepared, tender, and quite unobjectionable. However, there were also some large gobbets of clear gel. It tasted like a combination of unflavored gelatin and a chunk of pure fat, like on the edge of a pork chop. I decided that one bite of this new mystery food was quite enough. So what was it?

After a while, I put together the faint burned smell in the air and bones in some of the other soup bowls and came up with bone marrow. I remember the odor from a time when I helped roast marrow bones, essentially on a dare. I don’t know how bones can still smell burned when they’ve presumably been boiled, but the smell’s memorable and, for me, off-putting. I didn’t try any of the marrow after I helped cook it, and I would have been perfectly happy continuing that.

On the other hand, I can this to the list of organs I’ve eaten the next time I teach a pig dissection in lab. I find it a little disturbing how much credibility telling my students I’ve eaten tripe gets me.

Postscript: A week or so later, I was forced to acknowledge that I’ve occasionally been eating liver here for the last three years. At first, I thought the difference in flavor and texture was a result of marinating beef. Then I realized that the cooks serve some pretty tough cuts of meat without the benefit of marination and decided not to think about it further. This blew up when one of the student researchers here had some on her plate, was told in Spanish what it was, looked disgusted, and put it back in the pan. I didn’t catch the Spanish, but I had a pretty good guess as to what it was. I guess all those pig dissections were good for something after all.

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