National Menudo Month is a unique holiday that is observed during the entire month of January. Menudo is a Mexican delight which is sometimes called ‘pancita’ (little stomach) or ‘mole de panza’ (stomach sauce), as the main ingredient is a cow’s stomach. That may not sound appetizing at first, but hold the judgment until you try a spoonful of this delicious soup. Menudo is a traditional Mexican soup made with beef tripe in broth, seasoned with hominy, garlic, onions, and oregano. Preparing Menudo is a task for the whole family. Mexican families usually serve it for breakfast on Sundays, special occasions, and holidays as it can take five to 10 hours to prepare the dish!
History of National Menudo Month
Menudo is a famous traditional Mexican soup, commonly served as a main dish and eaten for breakfast. The dish is made with tripe (cow’s stomach) cooked in a broth with a chili pepper base. It’s seasoned with hominy, oregano, cilantro, onions, and lime. The exact recipe is different for every family, the favorite seeming to be honeycomb tripe.
The Menudo originated in Mexico, though it is unclear exactly in which part of the country it came from. Cooking Menudo is a family event as it takes many hours for the tripe to fully cook, though some may buy ready-made ingredients to shorten the process. The meal is traditionally served on Sundays and special occasions such as Christmas, New Year’s, births, and weddings. This healthy meal is filled with nutrients and is considered a great choice for curing the common cold and other ailments.
Although its specific year of origination is unclear, Menudo became popular around the 1930s in either north or central Mexico. It’s said that farmers used to discard offal meats such as intestines and internal organs when slaughtering cows, not seeing their benefits. They eventually began cleaning those parts more thoroughly and cooking them. Tripe takes a long time to clean to become good enough to eat, which is why the dish takes so long to prepare.
Menudo became popular in the U.S. in the mid-20th century when restaurants began adding it to the menu, usually only adding it on the weekend since it’s too time-consuming to make all week. Others offer canned Menudo. There’s an annual Menudo festival in Santa Maria, California organized by the National Latino Peace Officers Association where restaurants compete in making the dish.
National Menudo Month FAQs
What does Menudo taste like?
Menudo is said to taste like tortilla soup with all the seasoning giving it a delicious flavor.
Is it possible to overcook Menudo?
Yes, and It is important not to overcook the tripe.
What is the squishy thing in menudo
National Menudo Month Activities
Learn the recipe
There’s no better time to learn how to make Menudo than this time. There is no pressure, you have the whole month to perfect it.
Host a dinner
Invite family and friends for the day and share in the joys (and woes) of cooking this dish. Nothing beats gathering around the kitchen with your loved ones to chat and gossip while making this hearty meal.
Have some of Juanita’s Menudo
Juanita’s Foods sells the best Menudo. Go ahead and try all the different flavors they have to offer.
5 Interesting Facts About Menudo
It is alleged to cure hangovers
Some claim that Menudo is the perfect cure for hangovers.
Your elixir for the common cold
The warm broth packed with vitamins and minerals is the Mexican version of chicken soup.
Guinness World Record
Juanita’s Foods broke the world record by making the largest Menudo, weighing approximately 2,400 pounds.
Many disliked it until adulthood
Many Mexicans hated the dish as kids, because of the tripe and how it smells during the lengthy cooking process.
There is a similar dish
There is a similar Filipino dish with the same name made with pork and sliced liver instead of beef tripe.
Why We Love National Menudo Month
It keeps traditions alive
Traditions that are not passed down are often forgotten. This day helps us hold on to an aspect of our culture.
It brings the family together
Traditionally, Mexican families enjoy making the dish together. The lengthy process and the wait can be much more entertaining if it’s turned into a lovely get-together.
It encourages diversity
Celebrating holidays such as National Menudo Month helps encourage diversity. This is important, especially in the U.S where there are people of all races and ethnicities.
National Menudo Month dates