tripe and onions – hold the tripe

Posted in journal, opinion on August 26th, 2009 by george

I was at the butchers counter in the supermarket here in Southern France this morning. I was buying some minced beef, which they mince for you to order. Butchers, and the meat they serve, seem far superior here to those back in the UK. 

While waiting to be served, my eyes were drawn to trays of tripe on show. I wish now I had taken a photo. It appears to be the most unlikely, unsavoury food. I tried it once, in France years ago, and the memory of it still makes me gag.

Why would anyone be interested in eating stomach lining? In a country where all kinds of delicious cheeses, ham, sausage, fresh meat,  fish and vegetables are available, it doesnt make much sense. But then, this is the place reknowned for eating snails and frogs legs!

Perhaps it harks back to more tight belted times when no part of a slaughtered animal went to waste. Also on display were pigs trotters, and oxtail. My brother and I remember being served both as children. In Denmark, where after the war, the country depended heavily on its pork and bacon exports, a whole generation was raised on eating all kinds of unsavoury parts of the pig, the parts that could not easily be sold.

I am happy to eat, or at least try, most foods put in front of me. I draw the line at tripe. Its a great word, but so is ‘cadaver’. I dont want to eat either.

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