31 January 2013

Tripe is so good for you!

The Tripe Marketing Board's campaign to make 2013 the Year of Tripe continues apace this week with daily coverage on BBC Radio Cumbria.

While not professing to be a lover of tripe himself, Mr Gordon Swindlehurst has this week featured tripe on each of his lunchtime shows.  Tomorrow, TMB Honorary President Mr Martin McEvoy will be speaking live to an audience of sheep farmers and Sellafield workers about how he was inspired to re-work Rigoletto's classic La Donna E Mobile on behalf of the TMB, after seeing a repeat of the classic 1961 Alfred Spatchcock movie A Taste of Honeycomb

Sir Norman Wrassle, Chairman of the Tripe Marketing Board, said: "This is the first time tripe has featured so prominently on a day-time radio broadcast since the early 1970s.  It's a sign that tripe is making a comeback and we've got lots of campaign ideas to keep it in the public eye."

Sir Norman, who has recently returned from a tripe-tasting visit to the South of France, is a keen lover of Cumbria, having once stopped off at Tebay services to refuel his car en route to Scotland.  He joked: "We can forgive Mr Swindlehurst if he isn't an ardent fan of tripe since he's made his airwaves so freely available to us this week!  I'll arrange to send him a pound of the finest honeycomb sometime and let's see if we can't change his mind."

Mr McEvoy can be heard on 1 February at around 1.30pm on BBC Radio Cumbria.

25 January 2013

Happy Burns Night

It's Burns Night - and Scots folk all over the globe will tonight be raising a wee dram and toasting their patron poet, steeling themselves for the first mouthful of a savoury pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs) all encased in a stomach.  

With that sorry prospect in view, is it any wonder that more and more people are spurning the traditional Burns Night fare of haggis for something more modern, tasty and appealing? 

Here at the Tripe Marketing Board, we've been digging into our archives and have found a few lines from our own favourite Scots poet, Robson Byrne, which might just inspire you to think afresh about how to celebrate 25 January this year:

Bring me mae slippers
Bring me mae pipe
Bring me mae bowl
Of steaming tripe!

For recipe ideas, visit our website.  Ith gu le√≤ir!

23 January 2013

Where Can I Buy Tripe?

If the Tripe Marketing Board had a pound for every time we were asked "Where can I buy tripe?" then we'd be very rich indeed.  Sadly, the number of retailers selling tripe has declined a little over the last thirty years - as eminent librarian Derek J Ripley explains in this extract from his book, Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral:

Tripe was once the staple diet of the industrial towns of Lancashire,  a cheap and nourishing food which played an important part in making the north west the engine room of Britain.  In 1920, for example, there were an estimated 2,000 tripe shops and restaurants in Wigan alone and something like half a million in Lancashire.   In fact, many family firms did nothing but boil and sell tripe, cowheel and trotters.

Its popularity can be put down to many things.  First and foremost, it was cheap and filling: you could feed a family of 6 for less than a farthing.  Last, but not least, it was versatile and could be put to many other uses such as an inexpensive floor covering, upholstering material or for cleaning windows.

At the height of its popularity in the 30s and 40s, the tripe jump was the flagship event of the Lancashire Games and made up a quarter of the Lancashire triathlon, alongside black pudding throwing and synchronised darts.

During the war when fabrics were scarce, women would make clothes from tripe and throughout Lancashire there arose large numbers of tripe dressers (often back-room businesses) who dressed women in the finest garments made of tripe.  

Probably the first to dress in this way was Lady Ha Ha, wife of the notorious traitor Lord Ha Ha, who caused a sensation when she wore a magnificent off the shoulder white dress made from the finest Lancashire tripe at the opening ceremony of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.
Now, the Tripe Marketing Board has launched a service designed to put you in touch with tripe retailers across the UK.  We're building up our database of tripe retailers and welcome submissions from any tripe seller or eater*.  Get in touch, and help us make 2013 the Year of Tripe! 

* This new service should not be confused with TripeAdvisor

21 January 2013

Weather Stalls Tripe Trip

A Tripe Marketing Board delegation visiting the Barjols Festival of Tripe in France has had to extend its stay due to the inclement weather in England.

With the demise of the Wigan Tripe Gala, the annual festival is now Europe's biggest celebration of tripe and features on the calendar of events that no lover of tripe should miss.  The six strong delegation were due to return to the UK this morning, but when Sir Norman Wrassle learned that there was almost half an inch of snow in Preston, he decided to take no chances.  The group, which includes Lady Cheryl, Sir Norman's brother Fred and the Director General of the TMB, Mr Timothy Flaxton-Buoys, traveled in a minibus hired specially for the trip.  Speaking by telephone this morning, Sir Norman said they were "tired and emotional" after the two day celebration, and were looking forward to lunching on a local dish Tripe Provencal in a bistro near their hotel.

Sir Norman said: "Until we arrived, I didn't realise Barjols was in the south of France.  Because tripe is such a predominantly northern delicacy in the UK, I assumed we'd be heading for some grubby town in Normandy, but Barjols is lovely.  Of course, we're looking forward to getting back to Preston, too, but I'm not risking the trip until I know it's safe."

These scenes are from the 2012 Festival:

The TMB is taking advance bookings for the 2014 Festival, as places in the minibus are limited.

18 January 2013

Traces Of Tripe

Following revelations in the national media that major supermarket chains have been stocking beefburgers at least partially comprised of horse meat, the Tripe Marketing Board has rushed to reassure the British public that we are not aware that any beefburgers contain tripe.

Sir Norman Wrassle, Chairman of the Tripe Marketing Board, today said: "We know full well that not everyone yet likes tripe.  That's why, when we published Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral under the TMB Books imprint, we were careful to alert potential readers that the book may contain traces of tripe.  We believe we are the first publisher to openly acknowledge this fact on the cover of a book - despite the fact that there are many, many books that have previously been published that are likely to have had a lot of tripe in them. Professor Stephen Hawkeye's A Brief History of Meatballs is one that immediately springs to mind."

TMB Books prides itself on its honest approach to publishing, and we can guarantee 100% that no horse meat is included in any of our publications.

Forgotten Lancashire is available from bookshops across the north west, or from Amazon.  It is also available as a Kindle download at just £1.99 for people who don't like books.

17 January 2013

Time's Up For the Grocer's Apostrophe

It pays to keep your eyes peeled at the Tripe Marketing Board.  We've learned the hard way that when tripe crops up on the internet, we need to pounce to put our case.  So, when we noticed a discussion about tripe and apostrophes on this blog, we knew we had to step in.

Unlike our colleagues in the National Grocers Association  and the Scottish Grocers' Federation, we like to think we know a rogue apostrophe when we see it. That's why we issued our Tripe Trade Note on Apostrophes in 2012, alerting the industry to its correct usage.  As our Chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle, said at the time: "There's no excuse in the day and age of Microsoft Word's wonderful thesaurus capability for anyone to misuse the apostrophe - even if it's a word that doesn't appear itself in Word's thesaurus."

Sadly, this didn't filter through to all our members.  That's why we're asking tripe dealers everywhere to pay particular attention to any signage they may have erected.

Photo: Gerald England, 2013
If there are any tripe retailers out there uncertain about how to use their apostrophes, or suffering a shortage of them, then the news is good: we can advise you or provide them for you at a reasonable fee.

Meanwhile - let's say a big thank you to Lyndon, at the Clarendon Mall in Hyde Market, for displaying his Tripe Marketing Board clock - one of a range of tripe merchandise available at Cafe Press.  He's our latest Hero of Tripe!

11 January 2013

Tripe Tales

Everyone's got a tripe story in them.  We'd like to hear yours!  

Did you know that there used to be a Yard of Tripe contest held annually in Yorkshire?  It was news to us, until we read John Murray's wonderful Tripe Tale, One Man and His Tripe.  We enjoyed it so much, we've published it on our website.  Thanks are due to John, who featured in a recent TMB Industry News posting.

We're sure there are more Tripe Tales out there, so what are you waiting for? You can submit your Tripe Tale here.  We can't wait to see them. Who knows - if we get enough, we may ask Dr Derek Ripley to compile a book of them!

9 January 2013

Honour Aria President For TMB

The Tripe Marketing Board is delighted to announce that Martin McEvoy has been appointed as its first Honorary President.

Mr Martin McEvoy
Mr McEvoy is a distinguished baritone soloist who has worked with The English Opera Group, New Sadler's Wells Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera North and The Royal Opera House Covent Garden.  After many successful years as a professional opera singer, Martin now helps others to gain confidence in public speaking and presentation skills through individual sessions and regular Confidence Workshops and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio networks.   He is the Artistic Director of the London City Opera which specialises in devising and presenting Corporate and private Opera Gala events. Clients of the LCO have included former President George and Mrs Barbara Bush, Sir John and Dame Norma Major, The Savoy and Barclays Bank.

TMB Chairman, Sir Norman Wrassle said: "We thought long and hard before making this appointment.  We are well aware that many people associate the word tripe with things that are perhaps sub-standard or of low quality.  We certainly didn't want Mr McEvoy, or opera as a whole, to be tainted by this association.  My wife, Lady Cheryl, is a great lover of opera and has for many years been a patron of The Ormskirk Opera.  I myself have occasionally attended and have nothing but respect for those who are prepared to perform or sit through what are sometimes lengthy performances.

"We very much welcome Mr McEvoy into this new role.  He is a self-professed lover of tripe from Yorkshire and is just the kind of figurehead we need as we move into stage two of our marketing campaign.  Having re-conquered the heartlands of Lancashire, we are now ready to move further afield and our new Honorary President will doubtless be a great ambassador for us."

Sir Norman predicted that 2013 will be the year that tripe makes a comeback onto the bookshelves, butcher's blocks and dining tables of Britain.

7 January 2013

Heroes Of Tripe

Last year, we inaugurated our Hero Of Tripe Award, to much critical acclaim.  In 2012, we made just four awards.
  • Brian Yarvin survived Superstorm Sandy when it hit his New Jersey home, but nevertheless managed to locate some tripe and, despite the lack of heat or electricity, improvised by tucking into a plate of Tibetan cold spicy tripe in Jackson Heights, Queens.
  • Frank Ryding, who runs a busy bookstall in Wigan Market, won his award by selling more copies of TMB Books' Forgotten Lancashire and Parts of Cheshire and the Wirral than any other bookseller in the country (apart from Waterstones).  Well done, Frank!
  • The Offal Club of Manchester received the award for their unerring dedication to sampling all kinds of offal - tripe included. 
With tripe's recent resurgence, we're already able to announce two new heroes for 2013: John Murray, from Chester, and former Coronation Street actor turned chef, Sean Wilson.

John Murray tucks into some honeycomb at Goslings, in Barnsley.
John Murray receives his award for services above and beyond the call of duty.  When he heard last week that chef Ian Derbyshire, at the popular Brewery Tap pub in Chester, was willing to risk serving tripe to his customers, he volunteered to cross the Pennines (braving temperatures of almost 9°C) to source the finest honeycomb tripe (along with some chitterlings) from the acclaimed Gosling's tripe stall in Barnsley.  The resultant dish - Crispy fried salt & pepper tripe with sweet chilli sauce - was a hit with regulars and visitors alike (and why wouldn't it be?)  Well done, John!

Sean Wilson
Earlier that week, viewers of Channel 5's The Great Northern Cookbook were treated to Sean Wilson persuading the good people of Liverpool to tuck into a plate of crispy Thai tripe by not telling them what was in it.  Although we wouldn't normally suggest serving tripe to people who think it's something else, the ruse obviously worked.  There was soon a crowd of folk clamouring for the tasty dish.  That's the way to do it, Sean - you're a true hero of tripe!