”I’m not impressed by any cooks who can brag about a filet mignon. A guy who can take a neck of a shank or can use tripe to make into something delicious is really interesting to me; that’s impressive.”
~ Anthony Bourdain
Tripe, it’s a word that has come to mean ‘pointless’, ‘silly’, or ‘false’. These terms are only appropriate in how the reputation of tripe as a culinary component has been undermined. Tripe is the edible lining of farm animals, primarily cattle. While it sounds off-putting to the average palette tripe can be formed into an incredible meal full of flavor. World Tripe Day celebrates this much-reviled dish and strives to return it to a place of honor among meats.
History of World Tripe Day
While we in English speaking countries rarely see tripe available in the store, and even less common in restaurants, it’s a popular meal in other countries throughout the world. In places like Italy, it’s so common that it’s actually served from street-side vendors as a form of on-the-go food, served with a small fork or even on a roll. There are multiple kinds of tripe, even from one animal. Take the cow, for instance.
Cows have a four chambered stomach, and each stomach is the source of a different form of tripe. Blanket Tripe (also known as smooth, flat, or plain tripe) is from the first stomach and is the least popular among those who love tripe. Honeycomb tripe comes from the second stomach, specifically from the lowest part of the same. It has a tender and meaty flavor and retains its shape during preparation. Its honeycomb texture makes it a great tripe to serve with sauces. The second stomach is also the source of “pocket tripe”. Book tripe comes from the third stomach and reed tripe from the fourth.
How to Celebrate World Tripe Day
World Tripe Day is best celebrated by opening yourself to a new culinary experience if your family isn’t one of those who indulge in tripe as part of their normal diet. There is a rich experience to be had by consuming tripe, and when it is properly prepared it is a cultural favorite loved all around the world. Maybe it’s time that the English speaking countries develop a stomach for stomach, and World Tripe Day serves as the perfect opportunity to learn a love of something new. Your stomach will thank you, for eating stomach!