FACTS & LORE
FACTS & HISTORY
is the name commonly given to the stomach tissue of ruminant animals.
Bovines have four stomachs through which their food undergoes different
stages of digestion.
From the first, the rumen, comes the "blanket" tripe,
so named because of its "pile". It varies in thickness
and is often accompanied with a layer of fat which needs to be removed.
The second stomach, the reticulum, produces "honeycomb"
tripe, generally preferred by cooks because it keeps its shape during
cooking and also because it holds, on its textured surface, the
sauce in which it is cooked. Tripe from the third stomach, the omasum,
is known as "bible", "book" or "seam"
tripe. Tripe from the fourth stomach, the abomasum, produces "reed
tripe"-glandular tripe and is rarely used.
Some Italian recipes , the Milanese specialty, Busecca, for example,
are quite strict about the need for a combination of two kinds of
Tripe is almost always cleaned, bleached and par-cooked before it
appears in butcher shops. Unprocessed tripe is an unattractive khaki
colour but some recipes that call for long cooking specify uncooked
and unbleached tripe as being of better flavour.
Lacking its own gelatine, bovine tripe, is often cooked in combination
with a calf's hoof or pig's trotter, or pork rind, all of which
are rich in gelatine, to make some of the most famous-and necessarily
time consuming -jdishes.
Other butchered animals such as pigs, sheep and goats also produce
useable tripe but have only single stomachs. These are referred
to as "bags", "hoods" or "paunches"
and are an ideal container for various sorts of stuffing.
The stomachs of some large fish, such as sharks, are even used in
Asian cuisine and can be seen in food stores, dried and labelled
countries where beef is the preferred meat, use is made of beef
or veal tripe rather than that from other animals, except for special
dishes such as the Scottish favourite- haggis- where the sheep's
stomach or paunch makes a convenient bag in which to pack the other
ingredients. This bag is sometimes referred to as "the hood'
or "the king's hood" or "monk's hood" in local
Countries other than Scotland also make haggis-like dishes; Greece,
where sheep are common, makes similar use of sheep paunches especially
at the time of Easter festival.
In many European countries and the southern United States, where
small farmers often keep a pig or two for domestic consumption,
traditionally every part of the pig is used including the stomach.
The Pennsylvania Dutch used "hog maw" to make a large
sausage stuffed with well-flavoured minced pork, vegetables and
herbs. This was sealed and braised in cider or stock for three hours
and served hot or cold. This dish was called "stuffed goose".
Lengthy cooking is necessary for pig tripe as it is difficult to
digest. It is also more gelatinous than other tripes, which gives
it a distinctive character. One of the best-known tripe recipes
in America, Philadelphia Pepper Pot, originated also with the Pennsylvania
Tripe being cheap and nutritious is favoured as soul food among
Negro communities in the American South. One such dish consists
of boiled tripe cut into strips and mixed with salad vegetables
cook books from early pioneering days instruct how to prepare tripe
from newly slaughtered cattle: "take part of the paunch and
wash thoroughly in cold water and soak for 12 hours in salted water.
Then dip into scalding water and the inner skin can be peeled off
easily. It is then ready for cooking or can be salted for keeping."
The recommended recipes reflect our colonial origins.
tripe: Cut into small pieces and stew gently in milk. Thicken with
flour, butter and a beaten egg yolk. Flavour with salt, pepper,
a finely chopped onion and parsley.
tripe: Parboil the tripe, then cut into pieces, dip in batter and
Sheep tripe is used in the making of the famous Provencale dish
"pieds-paquets a la Marseillaise" and "peterrain"
from the south west of France.
Benoit of Caen learned how to prepare tripe with what have become
the traditional seasonings and accompaniments tripe was not a dish
favoured by gourmets. Since his time, the city of Caen has become
the recognised centre for tripe cuisine in France. Because tripe
usually requires lengthy preparation it has become customary for
the restaurants of Caen to offer it on certain days as the 'specialte
du jour" and the delicious aroma of cooking tripe directs customers
to its source. Notices outside restaurants and wine shops also notify
gourmets where to go for such delicacies as "tripes a la mode
tripe has much to recommend itself, being high in protein and calcium
and containing little fat and no carbohydrate. However, it does
90 grm serve, stewed in milk)
370 kjs potassium: 90 mg
protein: 13 g calcium: 135 mg
fat: 4g phos: 80 mg
cholestrol: 145 mg iron: .6 mg
carbohydrate: . 0 zinc: 2 mg
sugar: 0 niacin: 2.1 mg
lining, such as tripe has some intrinsic factor activity, which
allows some vitamin B12 to be absorbed, if lack of intrinsic factor
is the reason for the B12 deficiency.
in Italy is generally calves' tripe. In the past, the boiling liquid
in which Italian butchers prepared tripe, was traditionally given
free to the poor.
Tripe is a favourite dish in Italy and the local versions are many.
Trippa alla Fiorentina is braised with tomato and marjoram and served
on a piece of bread called "Lampredotto". Also served
with white beans and grated cheese.
alla Romana is flavoured with mint. And served with a cheese sauce.
is an Apulian tripe dish called quagghiariddi in which a sheep tripe
is stuffed with lamb's liver, salami, cheese and parsley, mixed
with eggs. It is cooked in an earthenware dish in the oven and reten
with boiled rue.
alla pisana is served in a green sauce.
alla luchese includes cinnamon in its sauce
from the Romagna region had nutmeg among its ingredients
Milanese tripe specialty, called Busecca involves two kinds of tripe
cooked in a sauce flavoured with sage. It is served on pieces of
bread, sprinkled with cheese and grilled. This dish is as characteristic
of the Milanese as onion soup is of the Parisians, so much so that
the rest of Italy call the Milanese "busecconi".
add mushrooms, sautéed separately, to their regional tripe
neighbours in Liguria, as well as adding dried mushrooms to Trippa
alla genovese, add broad beans or potatoes to the tripe pot to finish
Bologna, famous for its rich cuisine, makes a tripe dish which starts
with bacon, onions, garlic fried in oil and ends with the dish thickened
with eggs beaten into meat stock..
is a Corsican dish in which a sheep's paunch is stuffed with beetroot,
spinach, herbs and sheep's blood.
rears a third of Italy's sheep as well as goats and it is not surprising
that tripe from these animals features in Sardinian cooking. Long
strips of kid and lamb tripe are twisted together in a rope as long
as three feet (a coda or cordula)j and grilled or cooked on the
spit. This dish is also cooked in a pot over slow fire, in olive
oil with peas and beans.
Tripes a Djotte is prepared in Belgium, where it is eaten as a Christmas
sausage. It is made from equal parts of chopped borecole ( a variety
of flat-leaved kale) sweated in fat scallops from lard-making, and
finely chopped raw pork, mixed with
raw onion and seasoning flavoured with grated nutmeg and whole cloves
and packed into fat ends or "bungs"- sections of animal
"GREAT CHIEFTAN O'THE PUDDIN RACE"
Burns was not the first to pay tribute in verse to the haggis- the
super sausage. The ancient Greeks had their own version of haggis
and according to Aristophanes in 'The Clouds", they too had
to approach the cutting of it with extreme caution. In the play,
Strepsiades relates his personal experience:
now the murder's out!
So was I served with a stuffed sheep's paunch I broiled
On Jove's day last, just such a scurvy trick;
Because, forsooth, not dreaming of your thunder,
I never thought to give the rascal vent,
Bounce goes the bag, and covers me all over
With its rich contents of such varied sorts.
The ancient Romans also had their own version of haggis. Apicius
Coelius, the early writer on the art of cookery has bequeathed to
modern readers, the list of ingredients:
Chopped pork, suet, egg yolks ,pepper, lovage, asafoetida, ginger,
rue, gravy and oil. The method of preparation is the same as for
way of serving tripe in the north of England is cold with vinegar.
is a large sausage made from half pig meat and half intestines,
boiled then grilled and eaten either hot or cold, usually sliced
thinly and served with mashed potato. Ingredients include pork tripe,
pork chitterlings (the middle portion of pig gut below the stomach),
calf mysentery (part of the peritoneum, also known by the intriguing
names of "crow", "mudgeon" or "frill")
fat bacon, pepper, wine, spices, onion. Depending on the region,
it can be white, brown or black. It may be sold smoked or dried.
There are many regional versions of this sausage. To mention a few-
a la bourguignonne,
a la strasbourgeoise, de Vire, a la Lyonnaise, de Savoie, and de
Troyes but all the sausage included in these dishes contain tripe
the gelatinous nature of which makes it an ideal ingredient for
sausage stuffing. Andouillettes are a smaller version and omit the
Jane Grigson, in "Charcuterie and French pork cookery"
says they can be quite easily made at home.
The method is described here, not in the expectation that the average
modern housewife will be inspired to give it a go, but rather to
show to what lengths makers of hand-made sausages will go to achieve
She concedes that the most difficult part is to find a butcher who
will sell you the large intestine and belly of a pig. After that,
the rest is plain sailing:
"If you have to clean the tripes yourself, the bath is the
best place because, as well as
having plenty of room, you can fix the ends of the intestines over
the cold tap and run plenty of water through. When it comes to the
manufacture, a relay of unsqueamish helpers with neat fingers is
The neat fingered friends are needed to assemble hanks of fat bacon,
intestine and tripe strips, tied at the end with thread and drawn
through short lengths of large intestine which are then tied off.
These are packed into a pan where they are boiled for a few hours
in milk and water. To flavour the filling, French charcutiers use
a traditional mix of spices, pepper, ginger or cinnamon, cloves
These sausages are eaten on their own, hot or cold and are frequently
used to add flavour and character to other dishes.
Fanciers of andouilles set themselves apart from the ordinary ranks
of sausage lovers. The town of Jargeau, near Orleans, boasts the
title of "Capitale de L'Andouille" and is the headquarters
of a society called "La Confrerie des Chevaliers du Goute-Andouille",
with a world- wide membership.
It conducts annual competitions in which a Grand Jury selects medal
winners from as many as 160 examples of this highly esteemed sausage.
There are several other societies of French gastronomes devoted
to the appreciation of andouilles and andouillettes. To learn more
about this fascinating subject and be regaled with specific recipes,
the "Book of Sausages" by Antony and Araminta Hippisley
Coxe is the place to go.
It would be interesting to know whether any other tripe-eating nations
go to such lengths to celebrate the tripe sausage.
French are so serious about cooking their tripe that they use a
special cooking pot called a tripiere for the purpose. It is a large
squat-shaped ceramic pot usually finished in an attractive honey-coloured
glaze. The opening is small, with a close fitting lid. To keep in
the flavoursome steam over the long cooking time required for the
best tripe recipes, the lid is often sealed all round with a dough
Elizabeth David, writing on Lyonnaise cuisine at "La Mere Fillioux",
says " It was in this same little restaurant that I tasted
de Sapeur" or fireman's apron. This is an oblong slab of tripe
about half an inch thick (previously cooked, of course) coated with
egg and breadcrumbs, grilled to a sizzling crispness and served
with sauce tartare. No tripe enthusiast
I found it really
enjoyable." (French Provincial Cooking) *See recipes
Mediaeval times, fresh meat was not readily available in winter.
Finding sufficient fodder for domestic animals during the winter
months was a problem and stored feed was kept mainly for breeding
stock, draft animals and riding horses, especially war horses.
It was customary to slaughter animals during autumn and to preserve
the meat for storage, smoked, salted or pickled in brine. Hogs were
slaughtered first and then, by tradition, the beef herds were butchered
Martinmas -November 11th. It was customary to hold feasts at the
time of year when the surplus of offal and offcuts, which did not
lend themselves well to salting, were consumed while fresh by the
people . This annual slaughter, in pagan times, had been called
Yule. As with so many pagan festivals, the Christian church manipulated
the dates to coincide with Christian celebrations (Carson I.A.Ritchie,
in his book Food in Civilisation (Methuen), refers waggishly
to this offal feast as "a sort of festival of lights.")
Beer recalls a trip to Florence on which a friend led her to a tiny
square near the San Lorenzo markets where the proprietor of a tripe
stall tempted her to try his wares. From a pot standing on a burner
issued the tempting aroma of cooking tripe and lampredotto seasoned
with herbs. Small squares of cooked tripe were offered and tried
and then morsels of crusty panini were dipped into the stew and
sampled with relish.
On the southern side of the Arno, the district of San Frediano used
to be the location of tripe kitchens where in huge cauldrons tripe
was boiled over wood fires, then hung up on metal hooks to drain.
The boiling liquor became known as "the broth of San Frediano"
and was collected at the end of the day by neighbourhood artisans
as a snack seasoned with salt and pepper and eaten with bread.
Alexandre Dumas wrote in his GRAND DICTIONNAIRE DE CUISINE "Seven
cities have claimed the honour of being Homer's birthplace: France
and Italy argue about who had the honour of discovering how to prepare
beef tripe. For my part, if I had the right to do so, I would abandon
any claim which France might make in this respect. But duties are
imposed on us, and we do not concede our claim on this score to
the inhabitants of Milan."
Waverley Root, in his authoritative tome on food, entitled FOOD,
while admitting that he is not a devotee of tripe, concedes
occasionally eat tripe dishes, not for their tripe, but in spite
I recall having once, in Narbonne, deliberately
ordered a tripe dish from a menu which offered a considerable choice
among other alluring possibilities because I was curious to know
what 'Tripes a la narbonnaise' might be (I still don't know exactly
except that there was an excellent combination of tomato, garlic
and certainly strongly oromatic herbs which I was unable to identify.)
It is my theory that the function of tripe is to permit us to taste
flavours which we cannot sample
on their own because they do not have sufficient substance to be
served alone.'Dined with my wife on an excellent dish of tripes
of my own directing' wrote Samuel Pepys 'covered with mustard as
I have seen them at my Lord Crew's'. I doubt if it would have occurred
to Pepys to eat mustard alone, but he could enjoy its pungent bite
when tripe served as its vehicle. Tripe is an ideal carrier for
other tastes since it has virtually none of its own to compete with
them, once it has been cooked long enough to rid itself of its boiling-laundry
Age, Edition 1 Tue 23Feb 1999, Page 006
TRIPE. GLORIOUS TRIPE
the opening episode of the new British period drama Vanity Fair,
lead character Becky Sharp, a grasping, impecunious little thing,
finds herself in the employ of Sir Pit Crawley, whose parsimonious
ways and gloomy, down-at-heel manor make a bowl of pallid, wet tripe
the perfect culinary backdrop to the lass's desperate circumstances.
The message is clear. Here is bog peasant food for people who can't,
or won't, spend a farthing on anything decent. Tripe has that sort
Any web search on the subject will lead you to humorous essays on
grizzly, unmentionable organs. There are even links to Spam! And,
as Stephanie Alexander says in The Cook's Companion, "(tripe)
is associated with northern England nostalgia - flat caps, poverty
Milestone cookbooks of the '60s, such as Robert Carrier's Great
Dishes of the World, Craig Claiborne's Classic French Cooking from
the Time-Life Series and our own Margaret Fulton's Complete Cookery
make no mention of tripe. It is the unloved, unloveable meat.
But here's another side of the tripe coin. In Antonio Carluccio's
new book, Southern Italian Feast, he writes: "Every time I
see tripe in a trusted restaurant I order it immediately because,
like pasta e fagioli, it is one of those simple dishes by which
you can measure the chef's abilities."
He continues: "Tripe and other types of offal used to be eaten
by the poor, since they were the cheapest cuts of meat. Today, offal
is a gourmet speciality."
But as Mr Carluccio - a man with an Italian soul but British domicile,
and therefore a slightly more worldly perspective than the average
Italian - points out, younger food enthusiasts from the New World
and Britain have begun to embrace tripe in a thoroughly egalitarian
Is this because "peasant" food from the Po Valley or Gascony
has considerably more cachet than peasant food from Northumberland
or Leeds? Or is it just better food because of the vastly more sophisticated
culinary culture of the places that developed these recipes in the
Many of us are scarred by early childhood memories of tripe stewing
in onions and
milk, the home reeking, the act of preparing such a meal the true
sign of a dedicated wife pandering to her husband's nostalgic desires.
But for anyone dedicated to food and eating, these hurdles usually
prove not insurmountable.
Tripe has become symbolic of food passion, a willingness to experiment
and an ability to subjugate the fear of offal that grips so many.
There is something highly alluring about the quality that tripe
adds to a dish, the way it takes on other flavors yet imparts a
character of its own; the texture is unique; and the flavor/smell,
which is subtle in a finished dish, is something you either love
According to Maggie Beer, the most adventurous eaters are offal
lovers. "In France, offal reigns supreme as a delicacy; the
French word for it is abat, from abattoir.
"The French are wonderfully resourceful in using every part
of the animal." But Beer, a dedicated offal lover, stumbles
with tripe, the only food she could not stomach as a child. "I
still can't even look at it in a white sauce," she writes in"
Maggie's Farm", "which is how my mother used to cook it.
As soon as I see it I immediately smell what I revolted against
in my childhood.
It must be an acquired taste because I love it now, cooked with
tomatoes and olives in the Italian manner."
The development of great tripe dishes in countries such as France,
Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Arab countries,
as far back as medieval times, has allowed tripe to not only attain
but retain gastronomic dignity in many parts of the world.
In Britain, tripe was at its most popular from late Victorian times
to the 1950s.
Amazingly, there was a chain of modest restaurants in northern Britain
in the early '60s that featured tripe as a signature dish. The chain
did not survive.
But prosperity brought a decline in consumption in both Britain
and Australia during the '50s and '60s: tripe had become tarred
with the brush of austerity.
In "The Taste of America" (University of South Carolina,
1989) authors John and Karen Hess opine that "the trouble with
Americans is that they have forgotten how to be poor ... (when)
people coped better.
"In fact, the history of cookery is largely the triumph of
housewives making do with what the gentry wouldn't touch,"
"Eating high on the hog meant eating the fancy, marketable
cuts; the poor would get the jowl, the chitterlings, the feet, the
tail and with them would make fine food.
All the great tripe, snail and sausage dishes are their inventions,
and all the chowders."
One of those great tripe dishes came about in pretty much this manner.
For the residents of Porto, Portugal, in 1415, it wasn't so much
a matter of what they could or could not afford, but what was left.
History records that when Prince Henry-the-Navigator provisioned
his ships for an assault on the Moors at Ceuta, in Morocco, he slaughtered
all the animals of his home port, leaving only the tripe to the
residents. Get by they did, developing a dish that combined dried
beans, red wine, chorizo sausage, prosciutto, tomatoes and a variety
of herbs and spices.
Ever since, and even to this day, the people of Porto
have been known by the rest of Portugal as "tripeiros"
- tripe eaters.
But it is the renowned Norman dish tripes a la mode de Caen that
is celebrated most, a dish whose ingredients, cooking time and special
cooking pot almost certainly means you'll never see it on a restaurant
menu in this country. Add to that the fact that it is best prepared
in very large quantities and even in France these days, it is more
often ordered in a restaurant or purchased ready to heat at home
from a butcher or charcutier.
Consisting, for the purist, of four different types of tripe (psalterium
(or manyplies), rennet (or reed), reticulum and rumen, calves' feet,
garlic, onion, carrot, bouquet garni, calvados and cider, as well
as several seasonings, beef fat and a flour and water luting paste
to seal the lid during cooking (12 hours), it is a rare treat.
Another quite different but famous tripe dish is the Lyonnaise tablier
de sapeur, or fireman's apron. In Elizabeth David's French Provincial
Cooking, she describes this "oddity" as an oblong slab
of tripe about half an inch thick (previously cooked, of course)
coated with egg and breadcrumbs, grilled to a sizzling crispness
and served with a sauce tartare.
"No tripe enthusiast, I ordered it simply out of curiosity
and found it really enjoyable," she writes. For the tripe aficionado,
it must be heaven.
Pickwick's Plentiful Portions
The Charles Dickens' Cookbook for Today
mighty fire was blazing on the hearth and roaring up the wide chimney
with a cheerful sound, which a large iron cauldron, bubbling and
simmering in the heat, lent its pleasant aid to swell.
was a deep, red, ruddy blush upon the room; and when the landlord
stirred the fire, sending the flames skipping and leaping up- when
he took off the lid of the iron pot and there rushed out a savoury
smell, while the bubbling sound grew deeper and more rich, and the
unctuous steam came floating out, hanging in a delicious mist above
their heads- when he did this, Mr Codlin's heart was touched
"It's a stew of tripe," said the landlord, smacking his
lips, "and cow -heel", smacking them again, "and
bacon," smacking them once more, "and steak,"smacking
them for the fourth time,"and peas, cauliflowers, new potatoes,
and sparrow-grass, all working up together in one delicious gravy."
Old Curiosity Shop Ch xviii)
the course of five minutes after his arrival at that house of entertainment,
hr was enrolled among the gallant defenders of his native land;
and within half an hour, was regaled with a steaming supper of boiled
tripe and onions, prepared, as his friend assured him more than
once, at the express command of his most Sacred Majesty the King.
Rudge Ch xxxi
It's very nice," said Toby. "It an't- I suppose it an't
"No,no,no!" cried Meg, delighted. "Nothing like polonies!"
"No," said Toby after another sniff. "It's -mellower
than polonies. It's very nice. It improves every moment. It's too
decided for trotters. An't it?"
Meg was in an ecstasy. He could not have gone wider of the mark
than trotters- except polonies.
"Liver?" said Toby communing with himself. "No. There's
a mildness about it that don't answer to liver. Pettitoes? No It
an't faint enough for pettitoes. It wants the stringiness of cocks'
heads. And I know it an't sausages. I"ll tell you what it is
"No, it an't!" cried Meg in a burst of delight.
"No, it an't!"
"Why, what am I a-thinking of!" said Toby, suddenly recovering
a position as near the perpendicular as it was possible for him
to assume. "I shall forget my own name next. It's tripe!"
Tripe it was; and Meg, in high joy, protested he should say, in
half a minute more, it was the best tripe ever stewed.
Chimes First Quarter.
"But who eats tripe?" said Mr Filer, looking around. "Tripe
is without an exception the least economical, the most wasteful
article of consumption that the markets of this country can by possibility
The loss upon a pound of tripe has been found to be, in the boiling,
seven eighths of a fifth more than the loss upon a pound of any
other animal substance whatever. Tripe is more expensive, properly
understood, than the hot-house pineapple. Taking into account the
number of animals slaughtered yearly within the bills of mortality
alone; and forming a low estimate of the quantity of tripe which
the carcasses of those animals, reasonably well butchered, would
yield; I find that the waste on that amount of tripe, if boiled,
would victual a garrison of five hundred men for five months of
thirty one days and a February over. The Waste, the Waste!
Chimes First Quarter.
Interview with Warren Jones about his family's history in the tripe
25th March 01
Before the Great Depression settled over Australia, Fred Jones worked
in the tripe shed at the Homebush abattoirs. Many of the men living
in adjoining suburbs were employed at the meat works or in allied
industries. Early in the 30's Warren's father along with many others
lost their jobs.
Tripe was what he knew most about; and still having contacts at
the abattoirs he decided to sell tripe himself. So daily he bought
small quantities of prepared tripe from the abattoirs and sold it
door to door from the carrier basket of his bicycle. This kept the
family going and his customers, no doubt affected themselves by
the Depression, depended on cheap food such as tripe and other offal
as well as the wares of rabbitos, who also sold door to door
When he heard that Americans were using sodium peroxide as a bleaching
agent to make tripe look more appealing. Fred adopted the same process
Until then the tripe sold was an unattractive grey-green.
At first, bleaching was done in a bathtub. Then Fred built cement
vats in the backyard of the rented house the family lived in and
took on more of the preparation. The use of a horse and cart and
then a Chevvy panel van reflected the growth of the business. Two
of his three sons joined Fred in the business as it expanded. At
its busiest, it provided work for eight men, including Warren, who
handled the paperwork. A team of delivery men did weekly rounds
of all the butcher shops as far afield as Canberra..
But trouble lay ahead in the 80's. The bleaching process raised
the pH level from a natural 6-7 to nearer 10. While this did not
affect the nutritional value of the tripe it did result in the retention
of more water and the Health Department and its food inspectors
claimed this defrauded the buyers. The Jones were told to reduce
the pH level or be fined.
And fined they were, since it was impossible to conform. In their
worst year they paid fines amounting to $20,000. Others in the same
business gave up the fight with bureaucracy but the Jones held the
fort. Eventually Warren and his brothers managed to get all the
officials involved to meet and talk over their differences; and
the Jones' case won the day.
Since the closure of the Homebush abattoirs, the Jones, who today
are Sydney's chief suppliers of tripe to retail outlets, have had
to look to country and interstate abattoirs for their stock.
At the end of the 80's the firm of F.M.Jones were processing 8,000
kilos of tripe a week. Today the demand has fallen off, probably
because in these times- at least on the domestic level- the emphasis
is on simpler, more easily prepared foods. Current production is
more like 4000 kilos weekly which is delivered throughout the Sydney
Metropolitan area, Wollongong and Newcastle and as far as Canberra
The vast amount of tripe produced today is exported (Check to find
out quantity and who are the buyers).
Apart from bovine tripe the Jones also handle sheep tripe- a sac
about the size of a large grapefruit. The demand comes from Scots,
of course, who need it for haggis in December, but this is a very
small amount. The Greek community buy as much lamb paunch as they
can get for their Easter feast days. At this time of the year, the
Jones deliver as much as 5000 kilos to Greek butchers alone, each
lamb paunch weighing about 4-500 grms. To meet the demand for fresh
unfrozen tripe, supplies have to be brought in from interstate,
particularly Victoria. But it is the Lebanese communities who generate
a year-round demand for sheep tripe, which is eaten stuffed with
a variety of fillings. (see recipes)..
Today the third generation runs the firm of F.M Jones, the state's
major supplier of offal meats. Marrick (Rick)Jones, one of the principals,
asked what his favourite tripe dish was, replied: "We don't
Not if you live with it all your life.
Sydney Greek community, particularly followers of the Greek Orthodox
Church, consume large quantities of sheep tripe at Easter. The month
preceeding Easter is customarily one of fasting, during which no
meat, dairy foods or even fish are eaten. The daily diet during
the month of fasting consists mainly of salads, potatoes, aubergines,
beans and okra.
The fast is broken at midnight on Easter Saturday and after mass
families go home to a traditional meal of soup made from tripe,
and other offal meats including liver, lungs and heart, finely chopped.
After a month of fasting, the assumption is that stomachs are weak
and tripe is most easily digestible. Tripe dishes are also served
on Easter Sunday, with avgolimono sauce (egg and lemon) or a sauce
using onions, tomatoes and the more usual Mediterranean ingredients.
Stephanie Alexander in her book "The Cook's Companion"
has some interesting observations - and some fine recipes- concerning
"Only eyeballs seem to strike more terror into the hearts and
minds than does tripe! Tripe also has an image problem as the word
has come to mean "rubbish" or "nonsense" and
as it is associated with northern-English nostalgia- flat caps,
poverty and grime
.Tripe haters speak disparagingly of its
slippery texture, which is just the thing tripe lovers enjoy, along
with its mild flavour and ability to meld with sticky meats and
other flavours to result in delicious saucy dishes."
"Italians cook beautiful tripe dishes with rich tomato flavours
and parmesan cheese. The Chinese, who love textured food, are good
with tripe, too. One of the most delicious and lip-sticking specialities
at yum cha is tripe with ginger in a golden sticky sauce."
people regard animal innards with revulsion, some to the point of
refusing to eat offal in any shape or form. This prejudice is despite
the fact that a multitude of delicious dishes featuring offal are
prepared and served by the world's best chefs and consumed by battalions
of appreciative gourmets. Clubs are formed solely for the appreciation
and consumption of offal. Sydney's Tripe Club is just one.
The very name "offal" would deter most eaters other than
the connoisseurs, but let's look at some of the other names used
to describe animal entrails.
SLUMGULLION was a word invented in the 19th century to describe
the innards of a gutted fish and gleefully taken up by whalers who
then passed it on to American gold rush cooks who used it to describe
a kind of hash or stew. In other words, a nasty mess.
GUTS- still in favour, usually in a pejorative sense.
MUNDUNGUS derives from mondongo, the Spanish word for tripe
and is used in Mexican cuisine to describe a stew of maize and tripe.
TRILLIBUB and TROLLIBAGS of unknown origin, but an intriguing
name for tripe with appealing onomatopaeic qualities.
so obvious a word to today's English -speaking housewife other than
as a name for kitchen refuse, but six centuries ago, she would have
used it to describe a dish containing offal which her family was
expected to attack with relish in the commonly held belief that
organ meat was fortifying...By the beginning of the 16th century,
offal and its descriptive word "garbage" had fallen out
of favour and the word garbage took on another meaning. Offal was
then relegated to an inferior status in British cuisine.
Once a popular dish, especially among hunters, umble pie contained
the intestine meat of deer, known as "umbles". As time
went by, this food also fell into disfavour with the elite and by
the early 19th century, the term "to eat humble pie" was
reserved for those suffering humiliation.
(Ref Cupboard Love- a Dictionary of Culinary Curiosities.
By Mark Morton. pub. Bain & Cox, Winnipeg.)
Rabellais found it necessary to invent his own word for tripe. He
describes the birth of Gargantua as having been accelerated after
his mother, Garganella had consumed a huge dish of "godebillios"
- the tripes of stall-fattened oxen.
today, the word "tripe", apart from its culinary meaning
still carries the taint of abuse. "That's a load of tripe!"
or "He talks tripe." casts a shadow on the word, for all
our good intentions.. However, to facts