Saturday, June 11

What a Load of Tripe

There's a club for people of all persuasions these days, and I've just heard about another one of them.The Tripe Club. Founded in 1989, it has no premises and only one rule: you must enjoy eating tripe. They often meet in Gentlemen's Clubs, like the The Union Club, which was founded in 1857 as a gentlemen's club and a refuge from political divisions and is located in Sydney's financial district with a discreet entrance. The Tripe Club came into being to allow gentlemen who love tripe to eat it occasionally because, as one member put it, their wives refused to cook it. Times have changed - and now even wives can be members. Most members hear about the club's existence via word of mouth and the members like anonymity. Gee I want to join. Not.

Photo by Craig Abraham

My experience with tripe goes way back. My heritage is 1/4 Chinese and as a child living very close to Chinatown, I would always accompany my Mum to the local Chinese butcher/grocer down in Campbell Street. We would buy loads of different meats - all usually still warm and just freshly cooked and delicious. I didn't start questioning what I was eating until I was about 10 - and when I questioned her further after she said something was "just pork", and then changed the answer to "pork stomach" and then to "I don't really know", I knew something was up. My Mum then told me it was like tripe - which I knew as the disgusting frilly fatty looking sheepskin stuff in western butcher shops - and I asked "like tripe?" and she then said "it's the inner lining of the intestines" or something like that. We called the stuff G2 - and after that day I never ate G2 again.


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