Sopa de mondongo
Puerto Rican-style sopa de mondongo
|Main ingredient(s)||Tripe, vegetables (bell peppers, onions, carrots, cabbage, celery, tomatoes) or root vegetables, cilantro, garlic|
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2007)|
Sopa de mondongo is a soup made from diced tripe (the stomach of a cow) slow-cooked with vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, carrots, cabbage, celery, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic or root vegetables. The dish is from Latin America and the Caribbean. Variations can also be found in Brazil, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, El Salvador.
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. The tripe may be soaked in citrus juice or a paste of sodium bicarbonate before cooking. The vegetables and spices used vary with availability. Origins of mondongo can be tracked back to African slaves in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
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. Dobradinha is made from tripe but is not the same as "sopa de mondongo".
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 Panama it is known simply as "mondongo" and it is cooked as a stew with onions, carrots, chickpeas and a bay leaf and seasoned with chorizo and/or pig tails (which are always sold salted). It is considered a heavy meal, traditionally eaten with white rice. Other side dishes include salads and sweet plantains. In the countryside when a roof is built on a new house, the future owners together with their friends and family and construction workers organize a meal known as "mondongada" where mondongo is the main course. A variant known as "mondongo a la culona" from the province of Colon also includes pig knuckles and feet and replaces chickpeas with white beans.
In Puerto Rico it is cooked with chickpeas, potato, squash/pumpkin, malanga, vegetables, fresh herbs such as cilantro, culantro, thyme and parsley. Salted pork feet and tail are also added. Lemon juice, green or sweet plantains, green banana, capers, olives and other root vegetables like cassava are also very common.
In El Salvador, it is also referred as "sopa de pata" is considered a very nutritious and tasty food. It is cooked with ripe banana, cabbage leaves, cassava, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, carrots, potatoes, huisquil, green chile, udder or beef tripe, onion and cow’s feet.
In Venezuela, the dish itself is referred to as mondongo while the tripe is called "panza" (belly) 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, and depending of the region, it may turn more sweet (as in the eastern coast) or having chickpeas, but a common characteristic that all usually have, is the adding of pig feet to increase and improve the taste, and is actually the ingredient that gives the mondongo its flavor and extra high caloric content. The mondongo is often flavored with lemon or tamarind, and accompanied by arepas or casabe. Throughout Venezuela, the mondongo is eaten by the people at very early hours of the day, or late in the night, when they go out of the rumbas or parties in nightclubs. The mondongo, is also used to be sold in areperas, or restaurants specializing in arepas.