- 50 gr of butter
- four tablespoons of oil
- one celery stalk
- one shoot of rosemary
- three big onions
- 500 or 600 gr of tripe
- four leather bags of water from the well
- three potatoes
- one tablespoon of tomato sauce
- grated parmesan cheese
What to prepare
- a terracotta saucepan
- a crescent-shaped chopping knife
- a chopping board
- a knife
- a ladle
- a pot
Brown in a terracotta pan 50 grams of butter and four tablespoons of oil. Add a stalk of celery and a shoot of rosemary finely minced. After three or four minutes add three big onions cut in thin slices.
Cook at moderate heat until the onions become golden colored. Take 500 or 600 gr of “mille fogli” tripe, cut in thin slices and wash in warm water. Dry them and add to the onions, blending them well.
Add salt and pepper. On the side, prepare a pan with four liters of salted boiling water. Bring to a boil and pour into the terracotta pan, adding two or three medium size potatoes and a tablespoon of tomato sauce: let boil for about two hours and a half. Once cooked, smash the potatoes, mix well and serve with grated parmesan cheese having an average seasoning.
In Alba market time was on Saturday and went round all the streets and squares in as a thrilling display of all products coming from our hillsides, vegetable gardens, barnyards, courtyards, and orchards: veal and chicken meats, eggs and tome, fruit and vegetables, all respecting the right season, so you would never see the flat colors coming from forced cultivations.
Only during the wine-making period the “arbi” (rectangular shaped tub where grapes were carried and pressed) occupied piazza Savona and later piazza San Paolo for a few days, or the entire ring of one of the main roads, all one close to another patiently waiting for hours for customers to come by.
At times the said during the night, under the last September sun or waiting under the bothersome cold rain, watching the raindrops fall on the covers of their wagons slowly penetrating in the short wine-maker’s capes. Capes that were often the miserabile gear given to soldiers or members of the Alpine troops of the first world war.
During sunny days all those wagons seemed an ideal celebration of the nobleness of the “capital of the Langhe region”; in hazy and cloudy days a reflection of the tough, scanty, often discouraging lives in our countryside.
Those market days were also the tripe days: a great number of hotels and osterie, situated all around started tripe in large bowls serving from morning to lunch to all their customers sitting at the tables and to those standing in the market place. Hot and tasty, it should be eaten slowly, sitting or crouching while holding the bowl on the knees, bowl which was typically white or often with blue flowers.
A bowl costed very little and offered a great nourishment, where you could also dip big pieces of bread – that good old time bread! – and this would be enough to last until night, when everyone used to go home to eat home-made polenta or vegetable soup.
One day tripe found its way in electoral scene. We are talking about (truth or myth?) half tickets offered for five lire to voters, where the other half could be attached in case of electoral victory if the candidate was elected; one thing is sure that votes were sought and once obtained, the voter was awarded with a bowl of tripe offered first to get his vote and then to thank him.
In order to clear peoples minds or to show the extreme generosity of the offerer (often an occasional canvasser), also some wine was poured inside the bowl. Tripe is a very popular dish, well renowned in our traditions and for its fragrance and healthy ingredients, worthy of having a place every once in awhile on our tables.