Tripe is considered a delicacy in many countries. It is the stomach of a domesticated animal, usually from a cow, pig, or sheep. Although tripe is eaten all around the globe, it is not something that many people in the United States come across frequently. If you’re not used to cooking or eating tripe, it can be difficult to cook and eat the first few times. Here’s how to eat tripe:
- Clean the tripe. Clean the tripe thoroughly, or the finished dish will not be edible. Often, the butcher will handle this task for you. They may also remove extra pieces of fat to make it look more appetizing. The stomach is then boiled briefly (parboiled) so that the stomach lining can be peeled away; the lining is part that is actually eaten.
- Understand how tripe is usually prepared. Once you purchase the tripe from the butcher, you must rinse it thoroughly under running water, until there is no grittiness left and the water runs clear. If there are any green/grey areas, they should be trimmed off the tripe before use. Tripe must be cooked for a long period of time to tenderize it; most recipes call for simmering it or otherwise cooking it for 2 or 3 hours.
- Choose a recipe. Tripe is used in countless dishes from numerous worldwide cuisines. In Mexico, it is most often used in Menudo, which is soup made with hominy and tripe. In Italy, “Trippa alla Fiorentina” is a dish with tomato sauce. In Belguim, “Tripes a Djotte” refers to a tripe sausage. Did you know that “Andoille” sausage from France is also tripe? It can also be used in soups or stews. As you can see, there is a wide range of recipes incorporating tripe, so choose the one that sounds the best for your tastes.
- Prepare the recipe. Whichever recipe you have chosen, the washed tripe is now ready for use. Prepare the recipe according to the specific instructions. Note that some recipes require the tripe to be parboiled; if your butcher did not do this, you will need to briefly boil the tripe before using it in the recipe.
- Enjoy! The cooked tripe can be eaten the same as any other meat. Tripe is known for soaking up the flavors of whatever you choose to cook it with, and does not usually have a very strong flavor of its own.
Tripe is also known as organ meats because of its origin as the stomach of an animal. This versatile ingredient can be used in many different recipes, and even a few that call for chicken or beef, as long as the cooking time is long enough to tenderize the tripe.