French peasants were poor and often starving. Dishes like ‘Tripes à la mode de Caen’ which use the four stomachs of a cow and a calf’s foot were necessary when food was scarce. However, the continued popularity of these dishes makes feeding our guests on typical regional fayre very difficult. People would wonder if they had outstayed their welcome if we fed them on andouillette de Troyes, a sausage made almost exclusively from pig intestines. The town of Sainte-Ménehould, which is less than an hour away to the south-east is famous for its pig’s trotters in breadcrumbs. Les pieds de cochon have to be cooked for between 36-48 hours to make them edible. Think how much fuel would be saved if no one bothered to eat them! Tripes/abats are words that encompasses all of what we would call offal. It is not uncommon to see not only the liver, kidneys and heart on sale but heads, feet, tongues and brains. I love to make chicken liver pâté. The livers are often sold in vacuum packs alongside packs of gizzards – gèsiers. I bought a packet once and we tried them on the barbeque. My brother will try any food, but he had to give up chewing tough lumps of internal organs made even tougher by barbequing. The closest a British family would come to eating offal is probably steak and kidney pie.

2 thoughts on “TRIPE.

  1. The French word for offal is ABATS, not tripes, which are the intestines.
    The gésiers are esten quickly boiled, cut to form a flower shape and eaten with a salad and vinaigrette. Delicious and not at all hard or chewy.

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    1. Hello Christine, yes, you are right! I thought I had an 4 page advert for ‘les tripes’ from our local Cora supermarket and it had all the types of offal advertised. But I can’t find it now! Yes, I have eaten ‘gésiers’ in a salad and they are not dissimilar from livers. However, our attempt at eating gizzards was a long time ago and we didn’t know how to cook them. My brother was in charge of the barbecue…. and you know the rest of the story!!
      I am a keen researcher of the history of the First World War. For the anniversary I ordered some replica gospels that were given to the British troops. There are nice stories on some new pages that have been put into them. If you would like to send me your postal address I will send you a couple as thanks for your efforts. Best wishes, Joy

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