Tongue Tied: Some Dishes from Back Home Can Leave You Speechless

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Cocina Criolla / Feet in Two Worlds / Food / Puerto Rico
Lengua Estofada (Photo: Maria Watts)

Lengua Estofada (Photo: Maria Watts)

Lengua Estofada (Photo: Maria Watts)

By Von Diaz

Originally published on Food in Two Worlds on May 2, 2013.

Tongue? Seriously?

It’s hard to think about cooking an entire beef tongue no matter how trendy it may be to “use the whole animal.”

When I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area I discovered tacos de lengua at Taqueria Cancun in the Mission District. I ate them at least once a week, enjoying their texture – delightfully spongy yet crisped around the edges, with an earthy, gamey flavor. I’ve continued to enjoyed lengua tacos in El Barrio, the neighborhood where I now live in New York.

I had never actually made beef tongue. I hadn’t even watched it being prepared. But Chef Carmen Valldejuli’s recipe for lengua estofada, or stuffed beef tongue, seemed a fitting way to continue to learn from her authoritative book on Puerto Rican cooking, Cocina Criolla, and experiment with something I knew I loved.

I took to the streets to find a tongue.

Click here to continue reading on Food in Two Worlds.

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The Author

Von Diaz is a writer and radio producer based in New York City. She is a self-taught cook who explores Puerto Rican food, culture, and identity through memoir and multimedia. Her work has been featured on NPR, American Public Media, StoryCorps, WNYC, PRI’s The World, BuzzFeed, Colorlines, and Feet in 2 Worlds.

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