For the Love of Tripe

May 28th, 2012 § 0 comments

When HG utters the word “tripe’, A certain high percentage of HG’s listeners respond to HG with a grimace of disgust and a collective: “Ech-h-h!!”. Unfair. But, understandable. Years ago, HG was in the glorious Italian city of Firenze. HG went to the wicker market where at lunch every day a truck pulled up and a grizzled old guy dispensed tripe sandwiches. These were famous throughout the city and there was a long line waiting for the delicacy. HG took one bite of his sandwich. Spat. Threw the sandwich to the ground. The Florentine tripe lovers turned to HG with anger. HG heard the word “Americano” whispered and everyone quickly calmed down. Of course, the crowd reasoned, HG was an American. This excused HG’s behavior since all Americans are crazy and know nothing about food.

HG overcame his anti-tripe prejudice three years ago when HG and BSK moved to New Mexico. HG became an obsessive lover of New Mexican tripe — menudo — as it is prepared at El Parasol in Pojauque. HG limits himself to one bowl a week since menudo is mega-rich in cholesterol. HG remembers a mournful essay by M.F.K. Fisher, the late, great food writer. Living in a small California town, Fisher could find no one who would share a tripe meal with her and cooking tripe for a solitary meal seemed too arduous and too sad.

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