Porto – The Tripe Eaters
22 Nov, 2016, By Manuel A.
They call us tripe eaters. They’ve been doing it for centuries.
Anywhere else in the world people would have taken this as an insult, but here in Porto we are actually extremely proud of our rude nickname. In fact, we use it ourselves.
According to the legend, this nickname dates back to the 15th century, when Portuguese soldiers were preparing to conquer Ceuta, the ancient town in the north of the African Continent. As a part of the “war effort” the king asked his people to spare all the food they could, and this city gave and overwhelming response: all the ships leaving Porto to battle were full of the best vegetables, fish and meat, leaving the ones inland few more than the guts.
When Henry the Navigator – the King’s son, the most important military chief at the time, born in Porto – was told the city’s deed he was so proud he made up the nickname Tripeiros, the tripe eaters, as the nickname of everyone living within this city’s walls.
We are so proud of this brutal nickname it has remained for ages. We even got ourselves our own tripe recipe. This heavy, tasteful stew is the result of the perfect combination of white beans, different types of sausages, ham, pork and honeycomb tripe, all bind together by the hot, sweet and exquisite taste of cumin.
I personally adore this recipe. I can’t recall another dish that embodies so perfectly the spirit of a city and its people. Strong, spicy, abundant, but especially generous.