I’ve made two new rules for expats living in Peru:
- ALWAYS be extra dilligent about understanding exactly what you order and,
- NEVER eat anything called Mollejitas / Mollejas.
This story is very short but certainly not very sweet. Yesterday I went to play ultimate frisbee at the US embassy with my roommates (Teresa-USA and Pablo-AUS), we had fun however after the game, I found myself incredibly hungry.
Pablo and I went to the local rotisserie chicken joint. A quarter of chicken served with mountain of fries for dinner isn’t exactly my dream meal. On the way in I noticed a couple sitting in front of what looked like a scrumptious chicken satay.
I asked the waiter to get me what they had, he muttered something that sounded to me like “Pollitas” which I assumed meant mini-chicken (satay)? I confirmed with him “Chicken right?”, “Si” he replied. The word I neglected to notice was, Mollejitas. An boy was I wrong about that “satay” aspect.
It looked like this:
But tasted like this:
My hunger blinded me.
I’m usually quite particular, but it was only after I hastily devoured three mollejitas that I noticed its true foulness. I looked to Pablo and said, “This is bad… very bad”. At that moment I could see it in Pablo’s face, he was going to tell me something I knew never wanted to hear, “Mate, I think that’s chicken intestines… or maybe worse”.
As one blogger put it: “I’m waiting for the top chefs to discover the wonders of gizzards. The flavor is rich and chickeny, a tad gritty, with a chewy, tasty cartledge. As anybody who has ever cleaned a chicken knows, the gizzard is a meaty sub-stomach of tight muscles, pure meat and clear gristle. The gizzard is made for grinding grain for digestion, on its way to becoming chicken shit.”
To be clear, I’ve blogged about this in an effort to make my peace with the memory. Never bring this topic up with me in person, especially over dinner.