Did you know that the inhabitants of the Portuguese city Porto are called “tripeiros” – tripe eaters? And if you did, have you ever wondered why?
Well, the roots of this nickname go a while back. Legend has it that all of this originated in the 14th century, when the city was home to the Portuguese navy. At this time Prince Henry the Navigator wanted to support the caravels leaving to conquer the city of Ceuta in North Africa and therefore sailed to points in the South, giving the ships huge quantities of only the best meat to feed his sailor. After asking his people to victual the vessels, the people of Porto immediately sponsored their quality meat, being left with only the trimmings and innards for themselves. With only tripe left, they did what they could with it, which evolved into the famous dish of Tripas à moda do Porto – tripes Porto style. This is a slowly simmered casserole or thick stew of tripe, chicken, smoky sausages, a good dose of spices like curry, cumin and clove, and one more crucial element was added: white beans. This ingredient is so important because later on, the same man who had been responsible of the provision, discovered new parts of the world and came back to introduce the new ingredient of the butter bean. This was of course added to the historic dish and since then, the meal became part of the history of Porto; characterized not only by its rich recipe, but also by the nice gesture in a decisive moment of the nation of Portugal.
Whatever the truth, since then the dish has been so woven into the fabric of the city’s history that the people of Porto have been known as tripeiros, the people who eat tripe. Dobrada is another Portuguese dish with tripe, but the Tripas à moda do Porto are by far the most famous version. It is considered the traditional dish of Porto and can still be found everywhere in the city today. It is also a great example of Portuguese cuisine in general: rich, filling and full-flavored dishes that are closely related to Mediterranean cuisine but are characterized by Portugal’s former colonial possessions through the wide variety of spices used.
A great restaurant to try this famous dish is the O Restaurante Tripeiro, as the name might suggest. The chef actually won a competition in France for his tripe recipe, and it has been considered by local gourmands to be the best Tripas à moda do Porto in the whole city.
Sounds delicious, right? Come and try this famous Portuguese recipe and stay in one of our great apartments in Porto!