Tripe is a popular dish consumed all over the world. Much like the liver or the intestine in meat, the tripe is the tastiest part of the meat.
In fact, the unofficial national dish of Florence in Central Italy, the capital city of the Tuscany region, is tripe.
Tripe as a choice of meat is subjective. Some might find it squeamish as tripe is where food gets digested.
Others might treat it the same as other flesh from any portion of the body. That being said, it is still tasty and nutritious.
It is even used in French Andouille, a coarsely grounded sausage made of a mix of pig intestine and tripe and is grey.
What is Tripe?
The cooked inner stomach linings of farm animals, which are generally softer than muscles, are called tripes.
Though most tripes are from beef, they also come from farm animals like goats, lambs, pigs, etc.
There are four types of tripes in beef, depending on the chambers in the stomach.
The four tripes are the blanket tripe or flat tripe, the honeycomb tripe, the book tripe, and the reed tripe.
While the honeycomb tripe is the most commonly consumed tripe, the least consumed tripe is the reed tripe.
Though tripe is a term generally used for beef, the term may vary for other animals. For example, it is called pig bag, paunch, or hog maw for pigs.
What Does Tripe Taste Like? Does Tripe Taste Good?
As tripes are soft, they are cooked more quickly. It is not too spongy like flesh from certain parts of animals.
The other organ that tastes closest to tripes is the liver. Though it is tender, it can be a bit chewy. It can also be a bit spongy.
Stripes do not give a strong taste, and they are milder. They take on the taste of the spices and sauces in which they are cooked.
Some tripes, however have a strong smell.
In comparison to the fleshy part of the meat, it is generally considered tastier though some might prefer flesh in place of innards and other organs.
The choice is subjective. As they are easier to cook, tripes are ideal to experiment with if you want to try new flavors.
As much as it is tasty, it is packed with proteins and vitamin B12, even in small quantities.
A 3.5 ounce serving of cooked tripe will give you 85 calories and just 4 grams of fat!
Apart from the conventional cooking style, it can also be used in sandwiches and even as a soup.
According to healthline.com, a five-ounce serving of beef tripe has the following amount of nutrition.
- Calories: 131
- Protein: 17 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Vitamin B12: 15 percent of Reference Daily Intake ( RDI)
- Iron: 5 percent of RDI
- Calcium: 10 percent of RDI
- Selenium: 25 percent of RDI
- Phosphorus: 10 percent of RDI
- Magnesium: 5 percent of RDI
Compared to 5 ounces of steak, tripe has just 5 grams of fat while steak has 20 grams.
Tripes are also richer in vitamins and minerals than the muscle of fleshy part of the meat.
How to Cook Tripe?
According to masteclass.com, here are eight traditional tripe dishes you can try:
Menudo: This Mexican tripe soup made of tripe, Mexican oregano, tomatoes, and bay leaf. If a sheep stomach is used, it is called pancita.
Sausage: Many sausages, including French andouille and the commonly used sausage, include tripe along with minced meat.
Pho: This is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup that sometimes includes cooked beef tripe.
Callos: It is a Spanish tripe stew that is made with chickpeas and chorizo.
Kare-kare: This Filipino peanut and oxtail stew often includes tripe.
Sopa de mondongo: This South American and Caribbean tripe stew is a mix of vegetables and herbs. You can also soak this tripe in citrus juice before cooking.
Trippa alla romana: This Italian tripe dish consists of grated parmesan and tomato sauce.
Tripe stir-fry: If you boil tripe, you can consider using stir-fried tripe with garlic, scallions, and ginger.
If you are looking for a meat portion that is low on fat but high in proteins and other minerals, tripe is the ideal choice.
As it is softer, it is also easier to cook. You can cook it as a stew with vegetables, stir fry it or even add it to sandwiches and other dishes.