Different Tripe styles
I live in the Dallas area and went to my local taqueria for lunch today. As I generally enjoy tripe in soup and Pho and whatnot I decided to give the tripas taco a shot (along with my standard lingua and pastor tacos). This tripe seemed to be pan fried perhaps tossed with a bit of flour, but not battered. It was for the most part flat, and nondescript. The taste was quite literally like the smell you get when you stick your nose down into a freshly opened bag of dry dog food. Not thats necessarily bad, but it was exactly like that, not kind of like it, or a hint of it, it was Dog chow smell teste. Very fatty mouth feel as well. I finished it but I dont know that I would order it again. It was cut into fatty brown-beige squares and strips.
Now I cant eat Pho without tripe. The tripe is delicate, milk white, cripsy, clean with just a slight gamey note. The shape is quite different too - spindly, almost tentacle/web like. No dog food smell flavor either.
What, other than the obvious difference in the cooking technique is the big difference here? Why the dog food smell taste in one and not the other? Does boiling vs. pan frying remove that taste characteristic (obviously it changes the texture)? Perhaps I am not a huge fan of tripe unless it has the majority of its characteristics boiled out. :-) What about the difference in shape between the two? Is the dog food smell taste normal? I am burping milk bone smell as I type this. ha.
taco de tripa is my favorite variety. I though they pressure cookered it first to soften, then fried it and seasoned it. so you get a spicy, chewy and soft inside, crispy outside texture. I have never had it with a bad smell. I never realized they were actually intestines, either.
I eat tripe in all 3 forms pretty often, but it's normally just a difference in texture. I don't find that any particular form has a particularly off-putting aroma. It's mostly just a texture thing. Maybe you just happened to get a bad batch?
I don't usually get tripas tacos because I don't like squishy in my tacos. When I lived in Santa Monica, though, I remember the taco truck there would fry the tripe up till they were crispy on the outside. Now that was good! But since then, at other places I've just gotten them squishy which I don't like as much.