Yes, I know “tripe” sounds iffy. At least it did to me for many years. My mother was a big fan and every time we went out for tapas in Madrid, she’d order “callos a la madrileńa” which I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. Why now you may ask? Well, I happen to be in Porto a city known for this dish. It’s even become part of its people’s identity as locals are called “tripeiros” because in the old days, they generously shipped their meat out to Portuguese sailors who were sent to fight in Africa in the XV century under the command of Henry the Navigator. Locals were left only with by products and tripe but ingeniously came up with this great stew that I had to try. It was the moment to overcome all that dread that my mother made so much fun of . I had to do it, there was no way that I could come to Porto and not give tripe a chance.
I was lucky enough to be guided by Raquel and her friend Rui who kindly led me to a great “tasca” on rua das Taipas in the Cordoeiro neighborhood, close to the Jewish quarter. Tasca do Rei dos Galos de Amarante, a family run joint that has been in business for over 47 years. Husband Dom Rodrigo and wife Dona Maria Rosa have been serving locals the best in homemade Porto cuisine for almost five decades, becoming a gathering point for university professors and students who swamped the place in the early 80’s.
Bits of honeycomb tripe, a cow’s stomach lining – yes, that’s what it is – mixed with linguiça ( smoked sausage) and blood pudding in a white bean stew. Added to this is the delicious “salpicão” a sausage that is a mix of beef and pork loin made with wine, garlic and paprika which adds a whole lot of flavor to this dish. Usually served with a side of white rice, “tripas á moda do Porto” is hearty and meant to keep you satisfied for a long time. I have to admit, it took me a few minutes to try it but once I got through the chewy part, I actually enjoyed it. With the help of a nice glass of vinho verde, I mustered the courage to finish it up and I have to say it was delicious. Overcome your fears like I did, give tripe a try! At least in Porto.
Tasca do Rei dos Galos de Amarante
Rua das Taipas 121
Tel: 222 057 297