Sopa de mondongo
Sopa de mondongo is a hearty traditional soup of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is made from slow-cooked diced tripe (the cleaned stomach of a cow). Vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, carrots, cabbage, celery, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic or root vegetables are added.
Many variations of sopa de mondongo exist in Latin America and the Caribbean. Some add rice or maize late in the process. Bone marrow or hoof jelly may be used for extra flavor. The tripe may be soaked in citrus juice or a paste of sodium bicarbonate before cooking. The vegetables and spices used vary with availability and taste. Origins of mondongo can be tracked back to African slaves in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
- In Argentina, sopa de mondongo is referred to as "guiso de mondongo". The tripe may be blanched repeatedly in several baths of boiling water with the addition of citrus juice or vinegar before cooking for a few hours until soft. It is then mixed with a sofrito made of fried onions, sweet peppers, and tomato, and combined with a mix of kidney or garbanzo beans. Common additions include potato, carrots, and chorizo. In the northern region of the country a sauce made of fresh tomato and green onions is added on top. It is customarily served in traditional low-fire red pottery bowls.
- In Brazil, it is also referred to as mondongo. It is usually consumed in the southern regions, but in northeast it is also named dobradinha.
- In Colombia sopa de mondongo is often eaten as the soup course of a traditional almuerzo. The soup in Colombia, is often made with chicken or beef stock, with a lot of cilantro. Many vegetables such as peas, carrots and onion are used to flavor the chicken or beef stock. Salt and pepper, along with corn, are also thrown into the soup for extra flavoring. The tripe used for this soup is varied. The most typical kind of tripe is beef tripe, but in several other regions across the nation, pork tripe and chicken or turkey tripes are also used in the soup.
- In Nicaragua sopa de mondongo is especially popular in the Masaya region. The tripe may be soaked in citrus juice before cooking. Common additions include chayote, tiquisque, and avocado. According to Nicaraguan folklore, the soup has healing powers.
- In Panama it is cooked as a stew with chorizo, and chickpeas and is considered a heavy meal, traditionally it is served when a roof is installed on a new house. The construction workers and the future owners along with their family and friends share the meal together in what is known as a "mondongada".
- In Puerto Rico it is cooked with pork tripe, chickpeas, potato, squash/pumpkin, malanga, vegetables, fresh herbs such as cilantro, culantro, thyme and parsley. Salted pork feet and tail are also added. But there are many recipes in Puerto Rico where spices like cumin, bay leaves, dry oregano and achiote are added. Lemon juice, green or sweet plantains, green banana, capers, olives and other root vegetables like cassava are also very common.
- In Venezuela, it is usually referred to as just mondongo and is considered a very heavy meal, often reserved as a single meal of the day. It is usually consumed in the north-central regions and in the llanos. Venezuelan mondongo is often flavored with lemon or tamarind, and accompanied by arepas.
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