Before you wrinkle up your nose with distate, consider the merits of eating the stomach lining of a cow...
1. It's environmentally correct. It's far greener to consume as much of an animal as possible.
2. Tripe is cheap and nutritious and packed with vitamins. So it's good for you.
3. It's part of America's history....
Pepperpot soup earned itself the soubriquet "the soup that won the war." The back story is fascinating.
It was the Winter of 1777. Washington's troops stationed in Valley Forge were cold and practically starving because the English had bought up all the local food supplies because they had hard currency. The story runs that there were no victuals to be had for the Revolutionary troops so the army chef had to get creative. With a few scraps of meat, tripe and peppercorns - anything edible he could lay his hands on - he invented this spicy, heart-warming recipe. The soup was filling and nutritious, and legend goes, with bellies full, the troops went on to beat the English soundly and change the course of the War.
This weekend, Jack McDavid, chef/owner of Down Home Diner recreated this hearty fare at the Forgotten Foods Festival.
It went down a treat!
An authentic version of the original Pepperpot Soup recipe is available here...
To obtain the Veal Knuckle and the Tripe itself, ask Giunta's at Reading Terminal Market.