Aye, mis Reinas! Llego el fin de semana! Weekends are a time for comadres, a time for family and a time for fun. Sometimes though, we can have a little too much fun, verdad…. like that time at Fulanita’s wedding or at Topacio’s fiesta de cumpleaños. Weekends like that start out with lots of food, laughter, drinks, dancing, and excitement but can quickly turn into a sour stomach, a headache and an overall feeling of “aye, por que?”
Enter our dear friend and savory savior, menudo. Aye, sí! Known as the cure for a hangover in nearly every Mexican family, menudo’s hearty flavor not only tastes good but can come to the rescue when you are feeling less than yourself!
“Pero como,” you say? How does this soup become a miracle for those who enjoy life a little too much? Is it actually true? Bueno, mis Reinas…let’s explore if it’s true or not.
1) A headache: so you had a night with one too many drinks and you wake up with a headache, verdad? Well, before you reach for that bottle of aspirin, let’s look at how menudo can help ease the effects of your hangover headache. Menudo is made with lots of spices. Capsaicin is an active component in chiles that is used to make menudo. “Caps-e-que?” Capsaicin. Repitelo tres veces. Reynas, this active ingredient releases endorphins which are said to have a soothing effect on what ails you so what better way to ease your headache and nourish your soul than with a nice steaming bowl of menudo!
2) Excessive thirst: drinking too much alcohol can actually dehydrate the body leaving you extremely thirsty. Do you remember when your abuelita would make you caldo con pollo or caldo de res whenever you had the stomach flu? Bueno, it’s similar with menudo. The menudo broth is soothing to the stomach and can help hydrate the body. Speaking of the stomach…
3) Moctezuma’s revenge: yes, sometimes drinking too much can lead to excessive trips to the bathroom. The combination of the menudo broth, spices and steam can provide your stomach with much needed comfort. It’s important to replenish your electrolytes after a night of fun so the broth, fresh lime and salt will help do the trick.
4) Disorientation: sometimes you wake up in a fog and all you remember is dancing to Despacito until 3 a.m. with your girlfriends. The morning starts out a little rough while you slowly walk into the kitchen to find anything to make you feel better. Not sure what to grab? Well, a hearty kick of the spices in menudo will instantly revive your senses and wake you up. It’s like café but better.
5) The accompaniments: when you serve yourself a bowl of steaming menudo, it’s rare that you serve it by itself, verdad? P’os no! Reynas, you serve it with lime, onions, cilantro, and bolillo or tortillas. All of those things add a helping hand to easing your hangover to soak up the alcohol and rehydrate the body so you can recover a lot quicker and get on with your day.
Bueno miren, I’m not a doctor or a scientist…but I love experimenting in my kitchen and I do know this; whether or not it is scientifically proven that menudo helps ease a hangover, I know it works because my abuelita said so… and her abuelita said so before that… and I will tell my grandchildren the same… Menudo works for a hangover because of all spices, steam, meat and the combined flavors create a dish that soothes the stomach and the soul.