Mis Reynas de Culiacan! You all know this menudo well. “Pancita”, as menudo is sometimes called, is said to have originated in Northern Mexico during the war when soldiers were given the best cuts of meat and the leftovers went to the farming community. Bueno, you know how when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade? Mis reynas, that’s what these campesinos did! They took the leftovers that were given to them and made this dish that has become so popular that it’s even hailed as a hangover cure! Now that’s being resourceful!
The menudo we know and love is slightly different depending on the region that is making it. Today, we’re going to discuss el menudo blanco Sonorense. While we have menudo rojo with guajillo chile and chile de arbol in some northern states, menudo blanco uses chiltepin, jalapeno or other green chiles instead. Menudo blanco still includes one of my favorite things: Hominy. Now, just because this menudo doesn’t have the red chile that menudo rojo has doesn’t mean that it’s devoid of flavor. This menudo has a bunch of garlic, onions, chile piquin…that packs a lot of flavor into such a small bowl.
The cuisine of Sonora has both indigenous and Spanish influence, and menudo is no different. Because beef and pork are plentiful in the region, it is not difficult to find the main ingredients for menudo. Now, while menudo is also known as “pancita”, it is not uncommon to see pigs’ feet or even vary the recipe to include sheep stomach instead of beef stomach or beef tongue. Que delicia! Variations in spice can also be made depending on how spicy you like your food. Reynas, if my mouth is on fire it can be a little hard to enjoy my menudo, verdad? So sometimes instead of chile piquin, I add jalapeno. It still has tons of flavor but not as spicy. You can also choose to leave out the hominy if you prefer because it’s important to me that everyone at my table is happy while they eat.
Did you all know that menudo is becoming wildly popular in the U.S. too? It is not uncommon to see restaurants in Texas, California, New Mexico, and Arizona serve menudo on the weekends. Arizona and New Mexico are the most likely places where you can find menudo blanco because of their proximity to Sonora. It’s wonderful to know that our roots are growing, and that we get to share our culture with others through our cuisine!
But do you know what other place is closest? Your nearest grocery store holds the key to menudo blanco on any night of the week that you crave it! A poco no? All you need is a little trip to the store, a spoon, a bowl, and some fresh toppings and you’re good to go! A meal in minutes! All you have to decide is bolillo or tortillas with your menudo blanco? Bueno, Reynas, which would you, choose?