If you have the stomach for this

Are organ meats an acquired taste? Perhaps, but I suspect if you don't acquire it at an early age, it's not going to happen. When I was a little boy I wouldn't go near the tripe that my mother prepared, Polish-style, in a creamy sauce. But by the time I was a teenager, I saw the light. When I got to Mexico, in my 20s, I was ready to eat sesadillas (quesadillas stuffed with brains), sopa de fideos con menundencias (noodle soup with giblets) and pancita -- stomach soup, pictured here.

Most people I know won't eat any of this stuff, period. I suspect whether or not you go for offal may have to do with how many generations ago your forebears lived in poverty. Or in Europe, where innards are still considered a delicacy, at least by older folk.

In any case, if you like pancita, or are at least willing to give it a try, I suggest you go to Pancita Rebeca, at calle Golfo de Adén #41, in Colonia Tacuba, where they have been serving it since the 1940s from 6 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon. At Rebeca it's served with a quesadilla (stuffed with cheese, not any other organ), fresh tortillas, lime and verduras -- "vegetables," as chopped onion, cilantro and chile are referred to in these parts. Three freshly prepared sauces adorn the table, including a killer habanera.

My friend, the writer Juvenal Acosta, brought me to Rebeca. Here he is, doing his best to look dignified while wearing the establishment's apron. Is it a lost cause?