Print | Close
print friendly page for http://australianetwork.com/englishbites/stories/s1434419.htm
30 August 2005
Visit a club in Perth. It's not a sporting club, or a collectors club. It's a tripe club.
JONATHAN BEAL: They're old enough to know better, but these men have come together to share an unusual passion and many of their wives don't approve.
Every month, at a different venue around Fremantle, they meet to indulge in the stomach lining of ruminating beasts, otherwise known as tripe.
PETER PUSTERLA: Tripe is the thing that binds us all together.
JONATHAN BEAL: The Fremantle Tripe Club was officially established in 1986 and attracts members from all walks of life.
PETER PUSTERLA: Couple of accountants amongst them.
PHIL TWEDDLE: Some retired people.
PETER PUSTERLA: Some retired people.
PHIL TWEDDLE: Semi-retired.
PETER PUSTERLA: Some old grey-headed buggers.
JONATHAN BEAL: They're all of a certain vintage, coming from a time when offal of all kinds was standard fare in the family kitchen.
PHIL TWEDDLE: Tripe is something that a lot of our members used to have when they were kids, but now their wives don't like it or they won't cook it...
PETER PUSTERLA: Won't cook it, yeah.
PHIL TWEDDLE: ...and the only way to get a good feed of tripe is to have a tripe club.
JONATHAN BEAL: Today, the tripe is being prepared by one of their favourite chefs, the Fremantle Club's Donna McCarthy.
DONNA McCARTHY: It hasn't got a big flavour. It's fairly bland. The parsley and things make it nice. I think it's what you add to it that really makes it tasty, yeah. People love it or hate it. It's not an in-between thing.
JONATHAN BEAL: Like it or love it, there's no denying tripe's versatility in the kitchen.
DONNA McCARTHY: It's really just imagination. Like, I've done... we did tripe sausages, we just got them made with spicy and then we did patties. Then I got on to fried tripe.
JONATHAN BEAL: No tripe club luncheon is considered complete without the formal toast to Queen and country.
CLUB MEMBER: Gentlemen, please be upstanding. The royal toast - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia. Her Majesty.
ALL: Her Majesty.
JONATHAN BEAL: Once the members have done justice to the meal, there's a nervous wait for the chef as the judging process begins.
CLUB MEMBER: I thought her traditional lacked a little bit of body. Uh, 16.
CLUB MEMBER: Well, I don't know what's wrong with you blokes. The tripe today was exceptional, the traditional was very nice, the pie was beautiful and the soup was magnificent, I would say 18.
CLUB MEMBER: I gave the soup a 20. I thought it was brilliant. I gave the tripe and the pie 19, I thought it was fantastic, thank you.
CLUB MEMBER: I'll give it 19.5.
JONATHAN BEAL: And once the formalities are dispensed with, it's time to finish off the day's indulgences with a rousing rendition of the tripe anthem.
ALL SING: Tripe, tripe, tripe. Come join in the fun. There's plenty for everyone. Tripe, tripe, first in my heart. Tripe, tripe, tripe. Let everyone stand and drink to the tripe. To tripe!
Ruminating beasts are animals that ruminate. To ruminate is swallow food, then to bring it back up into your mouth to chew it again. Ruminating beasts are animals like cows, sheep or goats.
Tripe is the stomach lining of cows.
A certain vintage means a particular time or period. All the members of the tripe club grew up around the same time, in the same type of families.
Offal describes the internal organs of animals that are eaten for food. Offal includes things like brains, hearts, kidneys, liver, and of course tripe.
Standard fare means the common or normal food that was cooked for families.
Notice that feed here is a noun. Feed is usually a verb meaning to give food to. But here, it's a slang way of saying a meal. A good feed is a good meal.
A toast is a drink to someone's health. Everyone fills their glasses, stands up, and drinks, saying the name of the person who they're toasting.
The tripe club members have a royal toast. That's a toast to the Queen of England and Australia, Elizabeth II.
Her Majesty is a title for a king or queen.