Ever wondered where the word “barbecue” comes from? No? Well, I’m going to tell you anyway. Barbecue comes from the barbacoa, a method of cooking meat which originated in the Caribbean with the Taíno people.
Sounds delicious, right? Well, after reading the following post from Facebook user Courtney Aguilar, you might not be so certain. She was tucking into a barbacoa taco purchased at El Rincon, a restaurant in Pflugerville, Texas, when she bit into something rather… chewy.
Courtney took to Facebook to explain: “When you order Barbacoa tacos but get teeth instead. I asked the server if this was teeth??? She said ‘baby teeth.’ #AppetiteKILLED”.
It turns out that in the US, barbacoa is often prepared with parts from the heads of cattle, such as the cheeks, and what’s incredibly close to the cheeks? The teeth. As San Antonio Express-News food writer Mike Sutter explained, it’s not uncommon to find the odd cow chunk in barbacoa, due to the way the meat is traditionally prepared.
“The reality is this: Barbacoa is a rough business. It starts with a whole skinned cow’s head, wrapped in burlap and baling wire and buried in a smoking hole in the ground overnight. In the morning, somebody with a sledgehammer opens up that skull and the harvesting begins: all the fatty and lean soft tissue from lip to crown. Sometimes the brains, sometimes the eyes, sometimes the tongue if it’s not being held out for lengua [beef tongue used in either a taco or a burrito].”
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