For the Love of Guts

Here is one so-called trend that seems likely to break against the implacable rocks of prejudice and immovable personal preference: the rise of tripe, as trumpeted in a story published by the Telegraph. The article seesaws between vividly unpleasant descriptions of the ingredient itself ("its often pungent smell combined with the distinctive honeycomb texture—both chewy and slimy") and faint praise endorsements of the dish such as this one:

"'Visually, as well as gastronomically, there is a great serenity to a plate of tripe and onions,' said Fergus Henderson, the owner of St John’s, a restaurant that has become a temple to offal."

Mr. Henderson, we, the dining masses, do not request "great serenity." We request bacon, chocolate, and mostly unsustainable varieties of sushi. This is unquestionably our loss, but that's how it seems to go in all but the very highest minded (or very humblest) of dining establishments. The story points out that a rise in tripe sales is in large part due to recent immigrants from Eastern Europe and Asia, whose thrifty and resourceful cuisines have clever ways of dealing with challenging bits of offal.

All that said: If you find yourself inspired by innards you might try your hand at this awesome-looking Tripe and Pig's Feet Stew Recipe. (Note that awesome is used here in the older fashioned meaning of the word: inspiring awe. Gotta love any recipe that contains the note: "Begin at least 2 days in advance.")

Image source: Flickr member dlisbona under Creative Commons

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