The Easter holiday recently passed. Many children get to do Easter egg hunts during this time and as fun as it is to find chocolates and treats, I’d like to think the adult equivalent is travelling around the world. I travel, I hunt down restaurants that serve the dishes I’m looking for, and then I get to reap the benefits by enjoying a lovely meal. Similar, no? 🙂
When I was in Portugal, I searched for bacalhau à bras, an Azorean cozido, pasteis de belem and many other delicious plates, but one dish I fell upon happenstance was tripas à moda do Porto. It’s a specialty dish that originated in Porto, the city that makes that delicious sweet, sweet port wine in the beautiful Duoro Valley.
Although the thought of consuming stomach lining wasn’t originally desirable to the Portuguese, it eventually became a necessity during times of poverty and starvation. They used whatever was available and tripe happened to be one of the things at their disposal. Fast forward years later, tripe has clearly made an impact on the people of Porto. Other than incorporating it into various dishes, they are known as Tripeiros (tripe eaters) and even have a tripe culinary society.
A famous dish that was created from this period is called tripas à Moda do Porto. I tried it at a quaint little tavern called Taberna de Santo Antonio, which is located in Porto. Other than tripe, it’s common to find the tasty stew with white beans, sausage, and other hearty ingredients. The one I ate had chorizo, blood sausage, carrots, tendon, and meat. It was seasoned with cumin and bay leaf and was served with a side of rice.
This beautiful stew was absolutely delicious and a definite must-try in Porto. You will find so many different textures, from the soft beans, to the firm meats as well as the odd, indescribable textures of tripe. For my vegetarian friends, I learned that the non-carnivorous version is made with the same sauce only they remove the meat. That doesn’t really make it 100% vegetarian, but if you’re not strict and curious about the taste of this dish, you can try this too. 🙂