BBC News

World Tripe Day: Can we fall in love with tripe again?

By Trevor Gibbons
BBC News, Yorkshire

image copyrightAlamy
image captionTripe in all its glory - is it mmmm or aaargh?

Why is your timeline filling up with tripe?

While some would argue Twitter is usually full of rubbish, this time it's the real thing, as #WorldTripeDay is trending.

Once a kitchen staple, tripe, the stomach of a cow, pig, sheep or ox, is still sold but its popularity has waned.

Can a hashtag turn its fortunes around?

According to BBC Good Food magazine, if tripe's cooked badly "you'll never go back for a second serving".

"But, if you take a leaf out of the Italians' book and serve it in a rich tomato sauce or deep-fried in breadcrumbs with a piquant green sauce, you might even forget its origin - the lining of an animal's stomach."

It might not feature on too many plates at the moment but just 50 years ago there were hundreds of tripe shops and stalls across the north.

Now they are few and far between.

image copyrightAlamy
image captionNot the surface of the moon, it's the texture of tripe

One that does sell tripe is Sean Custance, Master Butcher, with a shop in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Mr Custance said he still sells about 33lbs (15 kg) of tripe a week and it retails at £6.75 a kg.

"Tripe trade does vary up and down but we still sell it.

"I eat it myself I find it tasty and find it particularly good if you've got an upset stomach because of acid, tripe is alkaline and calms the stomach", he said.

His favourite way of eating it, with vinegar and black pepper, makes for a light summer dish, he said.

In fact, sales of tripe at his shop go up in the summer.

"To me it is just the same as eating mussels, cockles and similar things, they carry the taste of vinegar like tripe does," Mr Custance said.

"It were more popular going back and there used to be loads of tripe shops who sold only tripe.

"It's a sign of how times change, young 'uns now would rather eat a burger and chips. And you learnt about tripe from your mum because if you don't do it right - it's awful."

One thing is for sure. Mr Custance will be "standing up for tripe".

"We'll be pushing it today, you've got to give it a go!"

For all his tripe advocacy the butcher has failed to convince one very important person on this subject. His wife hates tripe.

A load of tripe

  • It is the lining of the first three stomachs of ruminants, usually calf or ox
  • It is sold "dressed", cleaned and treated
  • There are various kinds, such as blanket, honeycomb, book, monk's hood, and reed tripe, according to which part of the stomach is used
  • Tripe is relatively low in calories, at just about 96 calories per 4 oz portion, and is a source of essential nutrients
  • The word comes from an 14th Century French term for guts and entrails
  • Centuries later the word tripe was applied to anything considered worthless.

Sources:, Healthy Living and

Tongue-in-cheek operation, the Tripe Marketing Board, has declared 24 October the day to hail the offal for one, somewhat bizarre reason.

It is all because noted diarist Samuel Pepys mentioned the delicacy on that day in 1662.

He wrote: "So home and dined there with my wife upon a most excellent dish of tripes of my own directing."

All that, according to the organisation was enough to seal the deal and World Tripe Day was born.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMorecambe and Wise, and Bert Weedon know tripe when they see it

Sir Norman Wrassle is chair of the board, although, like his beloved tripe, his comments should be perhaps taken with a pinch of salt.

"There has been a lot of interest today from all over the world, I have had calls from Africa, from France, all over," he said.

He claimed to currently be in Rome where he is a guest of the Italian Offal Processing Association - which the BBC has not been able to locate - and said this evening they would dine on Trippa alla Romana, or tripe in tomato sauce.

He also favours eating it deep fried, otherwise known as "Lancashire calamari".

Butcher's wife Mrs Custance is not alone on her anti-tripe stance, however; #WorldTripeDay still has many doubters to convince.

Nolene Dougan has tweeted: "It's a very special person who looks at this and thinks 'that looks delicious'..."

image copyrightNolene Dougan/Twitter

If you fancy having a go at tripe there is no shortage of ideas from around the world to tempt the first timer into making a palatable meal.

On Pinterest you can find the best beef tripe ideas including Menudo (stewed) or steamed, Polish soup or Caribbean themed.

Are you ready for a world of tripe?

Related Topics

  • Brighouse
  • Food

Around the BBC

  • BBC - Food - Tripe recipes

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.