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Hooded Mergansers

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tripe Tacos Revisited


I found the reaction to the photo of the tripe taco yesterday kind of interesting.  I've always been an adventuresome person... especially when it comes to foods.  Maybe that comes from my youth as both my parents loved things like oysters and Brussels sprouts, and my dad would make things like a flaming plum pudding or even cordon blue.  My family was by no means well off but between Daddy's garden and the cow or pig he raised and butchered, we ate well.  My siblings and I usually accompanied my mother to the grocery store and we were each allowed to pick out foods that we wanted to try.  I was never made to eat anything....  we ate "family-style" and if I didn't want a food I just wouldn't take any as it was passed around.  However, we were expected to eat whatever we took...  no wasting good food.

I started cooking at an early age and can remember some of the experiments my brother and I came up with while we were still in grade school.  It's funny how when you use food coloring to make purple whipped cream it just doesn't taste very good.  (Close your eyes and you'll never know the difference.) 

I've always liked to cook and like making things from scratch.  Bill & I had a small farm and raised goats, rabbits, chickens, geese and a few other critters for milk, eggs and meat.  We had a vegetable garden and Bill had planted fruit trees.  We figured we should be responsible for what we ate... 

Eventually I made meals from venison, grouse, groundhog (yep... even groundhog) and other wild critters.  Most of this was critters that were eating our garden, but there was the occasional road-kill.  I still get kidded about the spruce grouse that flew into our rig in Manitoba a few years ago.  Yeah... he ended up on the table.  No sense letting him go to waste.

By now I imagine a few of my readers (if I still have any) are saying things like "Yuk!"  or "Gross" or other such exclamations.  And things like "I'd never eat anything like that"...  but...  I wonder how many people actually read the labels of the foods they eat? 

Take sausage, for example.  You say you wouldn't eat tripe?  Well, many sausages are encased in a "natural casing"....  which is....    You got it... the intestinal tract of an animal.  And if it's an "artificial casing", do you wonder what that is comprised of?  Hmmm...  unless it's plastic (which needs removed before eating) it's the collagen in beef or pig hides, along with the bones and tendons.  How many people remove the casing before eating those Bob Evans links with their pancakes?

How about chorizo?  You think tripe is gross.....  tripe is just the cow's stomach... and it's been cleaned and gleaned and is sold in a snowy white pristine state at the grocery.  Chorizo is just seasoned ground-up "parts".....  all kinds of "parts", including organ parts.  We all know what our body's organs do...  they're filters.  They trap the nasty stuff and allow the good stuff to nourish us.  Just think of what all you're getting in organ meats along with the fat that's been added.

And what's animal fat anyway?  I know it's not good for us...  cholesterol and all, but I bet I'm not the only one who likes a nicely browned pork chop with a crispy edge of fat.... , and how about that crispy skin on that piece of chicken? 

Have you ever been to a Matanza?  (pig roast)  Sometimes you'll get a tasty piece of pork that the hair hasn't quite been all scraped off.  (If you drink enough cerveza it doesn't matter anyway)

I'll have to admit that my photo didn't show off my tripe taco at its best.  Yeah... it looked like a dog took a dump on a tortilla....  maybe I should have added the salsa and the shredded lettuce before I took the picture... 

I could use a more esthetically pleasing title...  like "Offerings of Offal", or maybe "Tantalizing Tripe"....    how about "Enticing Innards"?  Hmmmm...    Maybe it's all in the presentation.

That's All For Today!


19 comments:

  1. Great post. I did say "yuck" at you mention of eating tripe but sure love oysters. I believe it's all about what you are used to or willing to try. Keep entertaining us! Becki

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  2. or Digesting a Digestor. or Tripping the Tripe Fantastic. or ...

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  3. And when you visit Ireland, and I know you will, please have a crubeen, wrapped in yesterday's Munster Express, and tell us about it.

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  4. Liver, chicken gizzards, head cheese!! You name it, somebody loves it and somebody else hates it!. Our favorite little taco place in Port Isabel (Kiki's) offers about 6 types of meat on their tacos and I only know what 2 of them are. And you have to ask for chicken (pollo), as it isn't one of the meats listed on the menu!!

    Mark

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  5. Great post! We'd all be mortified if we "really" knew what was in the processed food we eat.

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  6. Super post. We throw away some awfully good food. As you say many times we eat things we don't know about because we don't read the contents. My contention is that food from the critters you raise that were not given any gross food taste the best. the best liver I ever ate was seal liver. It was eaten just a few hours after the animal was killed.

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  11. Those annoying spammers!! I'm with you sort of-:) I am not going to eat tripe but neither do we eat sausage or hot dogs very often--I will eat a hot dog say on July 4 but I try not to think of what's in it!

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  12. I see that stinker, Anonymous is commenting on your blog. At least he's not sending you hundreds of messages about prescription drugs!

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  13. It's like those "wonderful" hot dogs people scarf down, made with pink slime. I like whole milk straight from the cow. When we have boondocked here in Mexico and people have opened their homes on the ranch, we eat whatever they prepare. We could never refuse. My diet has changed over the last 25 plus years and so has my culture. They go hand in hand. Never say never!

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  14. I've never had tripe, but I am a fan of cracklings. I've got a beet recipe today and it's something I just -- at 62 -- discovered I liked.

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  15. You ate groundhog???? man?

    I don't eat much meat ... especially if it looks like its ever been alive. those pig roasts... ew ... groundhogs???

    You thought about eliminating anonymous commenters? or is that tors commentors ... too lazy to look it up

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  17. Love your post. And love trying new foods.

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  19. Thanks for always writing a wonderful essay Sharon. I always love your post because it's so lively and full of surprises. Looking at these foods really makes me hungry.

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