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Jan 18, 2010 08:05 AM

Question about tripe and its odor


I recently stumbled upon tripe at my local grocery store. I bought a bunch of it and put it in the freezer. The other day, I made some menudo. I noticed that the tripe smelled like barn (like wet hay and dirt). I thought boiling it would clean out some of that smell, but it didn't. The soup tasted like a barn. I've had tripe elsewhere that didn't have much of a smell at all, so, I'm wondering what the problem was.

The tripe looked very clean and I rinsed it off thoroughly. Is there any other cleaning that needs to be done to take care of the odor? Had the tripe gone bad? Any ideas?


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  1. Tripe should be boiled in a few washings to get rid of the smell. You can add a bit of white vinegar to the pot to mask some of the odor. If done correctly, the final washing should be relatively odorless, where upon you know the tripe is ready for your menudo.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      If I boil it too many times will it get too soft? Or mushy?

    2. here in the Philippines, we wash scrub the tripe with rock salt then rinse in cold running water before cooking.

      1. The first time I had menudo it was at whichever restaurant Rick Bayless had first started in Chicago. When the bowl arrived it seemed as though we had just moved next to the Chicago stockyards, and someone had opened a window! At which point I said to myself, "This is innards I'm about to eat. I like innards, even though the only tripe I've had so far was in Campbell's Pepper Pot soup. I guess this is the grownup version." And I ate it, and it was awfully good. Since then, I've had a lot of tripe from a lot of cuisines, and chitterlings besides, and sometimes it stank and sometimes it didn't. Just like cheese, or people, or most of what life offers.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Will Owen

          "Just like cheese, or people, or most of what life offers." So true, <sigh>.

            1. re: Will Owen

              I do love menudo, white, please, it's something I learned to love. I'm craving some for tomorrow morning, which means we won't be doing dim sum- or will we?

            2. Thanks everyone for responding so far!

              1. The tripe that I buy is generally really clean. I don't know what they do to it but it's bright white and nearly odorless. I just get the smell of tripe (in a good way). I don't smell dirt or anything foul.