The Tripes: A notoriously well-known dish to the people of Porto and to those coming from abroad.
The “Guts”, or as we say around these parts “Tripas à Moda do Porto” is a dish that can easily be frowned upon, especially to those coming across it for the very first time and that do not know its history with the city and its people.
As the name promptly suggests, this plate’s centrepiece is the guts or leftover parts of the animals that make it up; those can be trotter (the foot a pig), veal’s hooves or pig’s ear. It’s not hard to imagine why the eager traveller coming to the city for the first time would be unimpressed, to say the least, with this delicacy, yet that is not all that. Another great part of this dish are cured meats like chorizo, baloney, ham, a thing we Portuguese proud ourselves of doing well, served with rice, chicken and beans. All put together and you have a delicious combination.
Still, if that doesn’t convince you, aside of missing out on this wonderful dish, you’ll be dismissing a plate filled with the history of the city.
The ‘tripeiros’, a story of hardships
At this point, you might be wandering, what does this unsavoury dish have anything to do with our city? To understand that, we will need to have a look at one chapters in our city’s history. Let us go 600 years back in time when Porto was yet a much smaller city. It is the XIV Century and we are at the beginning of the great Portuguese Seafaring journeys.
The city’s shipyards are busy, building the immense ships that would soon take the Portuguese sailors all around the African coast and into India. The works seem to be well under way but Prince Henry, ‘the Navigator’, didn’t seem convinced, he wished to see more sacrifice from the people of Porto. But its people would not settle with this and so as soon as the ships are set to sail, they gather every bit of fresh good meat there was in the city and donate it all to the sailors, so they would not go hungry on their journey. They knew well that this great selfless gesture also meant great sacrifice, for they would be left with nothing to eat, save… for the leftovers, more specifically, the guts or tripes.
Ingenious as they were, the people of Porto made the best out of the situation and with a little creativity they came up with a unique way of eating these rather unsavoury parts. Down the course of history the city of Porto and its people would endure many trials and the ‘Tripas à Moda do Porto’, or the Tripes as we do them around here, would become a favoured dish in the darkest times. For this reason up to this day the fair people of this city would be nicknamed as ‘Tripeiros’, a name that has lived up to this day. So we welcome you to try out this dish and get to know our city a little better!
If you wish to experiment this and other typical and historical dishes join us on a Food Tour! You will try some of Porto delicacies at the most tipical places! Plus we will share all of our recommendations regarding where to eat the best tripes!