The terms “güero” and “gringo” are interchangeable where I live. Both terms refer to ‘whitey’ in Spanish.
Be sure to bring beer to a BBQ. Don’t bring any foo foo beers or you will be laughed at, and no one will drink it. The cheaper, the better.
Your host will supply a variety of grilling subjects; some may be more than the normal gringo can handle; like tripas. Mescans love ’em.
Tripas are cow intestines. They can be purchased in 50 pound frozen bricks. I have seen mescans chop at a brick of tripas with an axe to bust some loose…usually after the beers have been flowing for a while.
Traditionally, mescans are very frugal when it comes to slaughtering beef. They eat everything…everything.
Tripas have to be cleaned before eating to get the shit out of them. If they are cleaned too much, they say there’s no flavor. (I only had one bite in my life. The host ate some and claimed they were “good”. I could taste the shit. I almost vomited. Never again.)
Menudo..cow stomach. It is fixed in a spicy stew. Many mescans claim that eating menudo when one has a hangover will rid one of said hangover. I have smelled it many times, but never tasted it. Not hungry enough, I guess (or not hung over enough).
Fajitas. Beef skirts. Inside skirts are the best, then there are outside skirts. I could not personally tell the difference, but with today’s beef prices it doesn’t really matter.
Fajitas were almost unheard of in the US in the sixties. They used to grind them up as ground beef. Cooked right, they are an excellent choice for BBQ.
Barbacoa. Basically, the meat on a cow’s head. The entire head is traditionally cooked underground overnight for eating on Sundays. I have not had it, but supposedly, it is very tasty and tender. This is not generally served at a BBQ.
Sweet breads. Be careful. Cow’s brains are sold as sweet breads. There are also items sold at a mescan bakery called “pan dulce” which translates to “sweet bread”. Not the same, trust me. Pan dulce good; sweet breads…never had ’em.
Knock yourself out: Mollejas de res
Beef tongue. Never had it. Supposed to be very good.
Tail…ever hear of oxtail soup? Not unheard of.
Back to BBQ. Tripas are common at BBQ, but no one is offended if the gringo doesn’t eat any. It’s common knowledge in the mescan community that gringos do not eat guts or brains or organs; period. In fact, if you did eat tripas, that would be unusual.
Hold out for the sausage and fajita tacos.
Beer will flow and soon, others will be bringing you brews; even before you’re finished with what you have.
Expect tejano music the entire time. Most of the other attendees will be singing along with the music. Gringos don’t listen to that type of music because we don’t understand the words. However, some of the music can really jam.
If your pals introduce you to “single” women, go for it.
If seemingly unattached women start coming on to you, it’s time to go or you will be killed.
You must be nice when you say ‘no’ because if you insult them, even accidentally, that can get you killed too.
You might see a dice game. Best not to play because if you happen to get lucky, you are not allowed to quit. If this happens, best to bet it all and lose it all, then bow out gracefully praising the rest of them on their ‘skill’ and ‘prowess’ at gambling.
If you quit while you are ahead, you will be killed.
Many times, drinking lots of beer at a BBQ brings out the “wanna be Sugar Ray Leonard” syndrome in mescans. If one of them starts fake sparring with you be nice and say “no way dude. I heard you were Golden Glove. I ain’t touchin’ that shit.”
If you heed these tips, you may survive.