Mondongo (Sunday Delight)

Mondongo (Sunday Delight)

Contributed by
Josie Cardona

Sunday was the fun day when we all gathered in my mom’s house to spend time together. I was the youngest and the only one left at home so my brothers and sisters would gather their families and come on over.

My mom would make mondongo (sort of like sancocho) and the whole house would be filled with the inviting aroma.  She would get up early in the morning to chop the mondongo and boil the pig feetl. Because my mom would have the mondongo going since early morning, my family would come in and comment about the wonderful smell and get busy preparing side dishes, desserts and beverages to go along with the mondongo. The minute they came in, the house would go from quiet stillness to loud commotion and chaos; everyone getting into each other’s way, laughing, chopping, mixing.  We couldn’t wait for the meal to be ready.  We lived in a 2-bedroom apartment with no dining area. There were not enough chairs for everyone so we would eat standing up, leaning against the walls or sitting on the kitchen floor; everyone talking over one another, trying to be heard over everyone else.  Those were the best family days anyone could ever have.

Mondongo is a soup made from diced tripe (the stomach of a cow or pig), slow-cooked with sofrito and vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, root vegetables, and pig feet. Pig feet is added to improve the taste, and is actually the ingredient that gives the mondongo its authentic flavor (and extra high caloric content.) Pig feet are preserved in salt so they have to be washed several times before boiling to get rid of most of the salt. This dish is generally prepared in Latin America and the Caribbean.  ¡Puerto Rico!  It goes very well with white rice.

¡Buen provecho!

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