In the world of Mexican food, menudo is the dirty secret, that tripe stew that inspires fervent love and hatred, usually in the same bowl, and nothing but bewilderment among Americans. It'll probably be the hardest Mexican food to assimilate into America, but it just might be getting there after getting its highest-profile endorsement ever in the form of Julian Castro, the San Antonio mayor who gave the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention last night.
For him, menudo isn't just a soup; it's a holy potage that ensured the well-being of his and his twin brother Joaquin, and secured their path to rising stardom and the American dream.
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"As my grandmother got older, she begged my mother to give her grandchildren," he said during his keynote address. "She prayed to God for just one grandbaby before she died. You can imagine her excitement when she found out her prayers would be answered--twice over. She was so excited that the day before Joaquin and I were born she entered a menudo cook-off, and she won $300! That's how she paid our hospital bill."