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Callos - An Andalusian Cow

The Gorge
The Andalusian city of Ronda is the home of bullfighting and also famous for the amazing gorge splitting the town. That's where we went to a typical Spanish tavern for some tapas for lunch. On the menu there stood something called callos. I wondered what that might be.  
- Oh, you wouldn't want that, said my sister-in-law who had lived in Spain for years. It's stew-like stuff, quite heavy, rustic food. The Spanish folks often eat it during the wintertime. They chop in practically everything from cow: tripe, udders, everything. Get it? Choose something else.
- Una tapa de callos, por favor, I instantaneously said to the barman.

The earthenware bowl of callos I got in front of me was relievingly small. At least I wouldn't have to spend hours trying to finish a huge portion of this notorious stew. I stirred the stuff with my spoon and indeed, callos consisted of very obscure shaped objects. At least one of them was some kind of a tube, a bump of a kind with a hole in the top. I didn't want to speculate in my mind if it was a nipple or something else. Most objects wiggled in suspicious way when I lifted them in the air with my spoon, to a great annoyance of my company. But the scariest one was was the huge round thing found in the middle of the bowl. Since it was covered in the sauce I couldn't quite tell what it was, but it appeared to be partially hard. Please don't be gristle, don't be gristle I prayed when I shoved it in my mouth.

An Andalusian Cow
The frightening round object turned out to be a generous slice of local delicious chorizo sausage. The sauce was equally good so I dared start spooning in the rest of the callos. The onions, chickpeas, tomatoes, garlic and a variety herbs gave the stew very heavy, stocky taste. I bet they had thrown in some marrowy bones too while cooking. And as for the scary wiggly objects, fortunately they were quite easy to consume, as long as you didn't think where in cow they were originating from. No surprising crunches from between your teeth, no gristle, no probelm.

The most important thing, the taste was after all pre-panicking no less than excellent! The small bowl I had was, with some salad, bread and olives, quite enough to satisfy a small hunger. I'm positive if Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel had had callos during their brainstorming sessions when planning their infamous film An Andalusian Dog, they would have named the film Une Vache Andalouse instead.