These Barbacoa Tacos Would Kill Most Appetites Even Though There’s A Perfectly Good Explanation for It
I immediately thought about those "ingredients in versus end results" conversations when I read the KENS5 story about a woman finding "teeth" in her barbacoa tacos in San Antonio.
The Food Network is on at my house a lot, especially on weekends. My wife loves to cook & I love to eat - it's a great combo! If I happen to walk through the room & a particular dish (or host- Valerie Bertinelli specifically, but I digress...) catches my attention, then I'll stop to watch more. When the chef starts mentioning ingredients, sometimes I'll see one I don't like & my comment will be, "that sounded pretty good, until she added in the @#$% - forget it now". Inevitably the reaction is, "don't worry about it- I make lots of stuff you say tastes great - I just don't tell you what's in it, 'cause if you knew you wouldn't try it"!
Like most people, I was completely grossed out looking at the pictures of this serving of barbacoa. I can't even imagine my reaction if I'd been the customer being told "yes- baby teeth" as if it was a common occurrence that just happens sometimes when you order that dish! Now in the interest of full disclosure, I absolutely love Mexican/Tex-Mex, but when I first moved to Texas 30 years ago & found out barbacoa was "cheek meat", I never ordered it. (Refer back to the "better you don't know what's in it" dialogue at the top of this blog.)
Even knowing that up front, what's most over-the-top to me in this case is the restaurant owner & barbacoa vendor's explanation about "lips" & other items "from the cow's mouth" occasionally getting mixed in with the cheek meat. They note it's just a by-product of the "creation process", & point to FDA rules allowing it as proof & support. "See- no harm, no foul - sorry it showed up in your tacos, but 'stuff' happens - move along." They might be right in the literal/legal sense, but my stomach got even more queasy from their follow up than it did from the original "omg- what IS this" picture of the "affected" barbacoa! How about you?
Maybe in some future post we can discuss an American breakfast meat I was weaned on as a kid in New Jersey: "Philadelphia scrapple". Let's put it this way - it's pork, & when Texans ask me to describe what part of the pig goes into it, my answer is short & sweet: "everything but the oink"!