Pancita Soothes a Traveler

Pancita Soothes a Traveler


While visiting Mexico recently, I slurped on a big bowl of Pancita one morning at the fabulous brunch prepared by our hotel chef on our last day visiting the magical mountain city of Toluca.  Mexicans swear this tasty and aromatic menudo soup, with its distinctive spongy texture, will do the magic trick of bringing you back to life after a night of dancing and tequila sipping.   I am not sure about that, but maybe the high content of vitamin B has something to do about it, besides its rich flavor. This soup was delish with just the right amount of spice and robustness to sooth a weary traveler’s soul and tummy.
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Pancita Soup at the Hotel Fiesta in Toluca, Mexico
This soup is usually sold on weekends in small mom-and-pop kitchens called “Fondas” or in restaurants that specialize in it. The soup is called different names depending of the region. It is known as “pancita”, Mondongo, or Menudo. In the northern states some cooks add hominy to make a robust pair with the meat. The recipe also varies from region to region. Other cooks will add ancho peppers in addition to the guajillo and even tomato.
  • 3 pounds of clean tripe cut into small bite size pieces
  • 1 cow’s feet (It’s usually sold already cut up in pieces)
  • 1 pound narrow bones
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion cut into thick slices
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dry oregano

For the sauce:

  • 6  guajillo peppers cleaned, seeded, open flat, and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves
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Not for vegetarians.
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