Tripe’s Most Glorious Moments

Brooke Newberry
(Photo: )

The preparation of tripe has been around since before, well, everything. This rubbery, yellow-beige and somewhat sea inhabitant-looking meat has a pretty rich and lengthy history as well. 

(Image via United Cattles Products)

(Image via United Cattles Products)

(Image via United Cattles Products)

After a long hiatus, alternative cuts that were once left for low status working class members are now being embraced by working chefs and young foodies. The younger generation has no memory of tripe’s iconic peasant food past as a stewed and boiled “eat it because we have to” food, and have a peaked curiosity with an affinity towards alternative menus.

Not for the texturally squeamish, tripe is the muscular lining of an animal’s stomach and is usually beef (but can also come from pigs or sheep). The type of tripe most commonly found in the States is of the honeycomb variety, which comes from the second stomach of a cow. A little more unusual is the blanket or smooth tripe, located in the first stomach. Tripe is easily found in most supermarkets, but for max freshness and quality, a trip to a local butcher is necessary.   

While home cooks aren’t lining up for offal at local butcheries, chefs are certainly squeezing tripe and other funky cuts into the comeback lineup, finessing and frying their way back onto menus.  Contemporary tripe eating seems to be reserved for restaurants and for those diners looking for something a little different, perhaps even “modern” if you will.

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