Famous for having some of the best (and unusual) street food in the world, Mexico is also the home of some of the most daring and delicious delicacies, too.
Did you know that almost every piece of meat on a cow’s head is edible?
In fact, these succulent bits are the foundation of the popular borderland food barbacoa de cabeza, literally cow’s head barbecue.
And nothing is better if you want explore the wonders that await inside a cow’s head than the taco.
Thought you’d be safe with a taco, did you?
While they may be the most popular of all the Mexican foodstuffs, they can also be some of the most daring, especially for sheltered travelers who’ve never been to Mexico.
Along with the more popular head-based fillings, such as chewy lengua, tongue, there’s also the lesser-known but no less alluring taco de ojo, literally eye taco.
In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, barbacoa de cabeza’s home, cow heads were traditionally buried in pozos, wells, where a barrier of maguey leaves protected them from the coals as they steamed in their own juices.
Today, cooks steam the heads in large pots over a butane burner and, when it’s time to remove the eyes from the head, they reach into the eye socket and extract the bulbous organ. After separating and discarding the sinewy nerve, they’ll chop the gelatinous orb into juicy cubes.
Street vendors deposit these springy chunks onto warm corn tortillas, where the taco de ojo gets completed with lime, pico de gallo, red chile sauce, and fresh, sliced avocado.
Images from web – Google Research