26 February 2014

TMB calls for less tripe on TV

The Tripe Marketing Board has appealed to schedulers to reduce the amount of tripe on TV when sales fell dramatically today, after it was prominently featured in last night's Channel 4 episode of The Taste.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle will be writing to the head of Channel 4 and other UK TV channels to ask for an immediate moratorium on tripe, following private polling which suggests that viewers were revolted by the sight of it.  Tripe retailers reported a decline in sales after regular customers stayed at home rather than face ridicule from friends, family or work colleagues.

Speaking in Preston today, Sir Norman said: "We don't think the public are yet ready for so much tripe on TV.  We know we're not the best-looking meat on the butchers' block, so it's important we don't get overexposed."

Sir Norman said he would much prefer if people came to love and appreciate tripe via other mediums, such as radio, Facebook and Twitter. "Experience suggests this is the best way to convince people to try tripe," he said.

Within an hour of the programme being shown, the TMB lost over 200 'followers' on Twitter - mainly younger people who thought that tripe was a variety of fish -  and the social media platform was used by dozens more to express their physical disgust.

Sir Norman promised that the TMB would "learn the lessons" from last night's programme: "We're not here to make people vomit. It's perfectly possible to talk tripe without having to look at it."

24 February 2014

Mayor Must Stop Denigrating Tripe says TMB chairman

Sir Norman Wrassle
The Tripe Marketing Board has challenged the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to "put up or shut up" after the celebrated game show host again used his Daily Telegraph column to denigrate tripe.

Speaking at a hastily-convened press conference this morning, TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "This is at least the fourth time in the last 5 years that Mr Johnson has used the word tripe in public to represent something of inferior quality.  We think he's gone a step too far and it's time he put up or shut up."

Sir Norman said the Mayor's comments threatened to undermine the TMB's attempts to improve the image of tripe precisely at a time when there were signs it was being rehabilitated.  He challenged Mr Johnson  to a public debate, saying: "I am prepared to appear in a discussion with Mr Johnson on a radio show of his choice - although I would prefer BBC Radio Cumbria or Hereford & Worcester, which have both proved to be friendly to tripe in the past."

22 February 2014

Tripe Sales Declining More Slowly

Interim figures for UK tripe sales published by the Office of Tripe Consumption this week were greeted with 'cautious optimism' by TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle yesterday.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Lytham Round Table, Sir Norman said:
"January was not as bad as we had feared - despite all the rain.  Sales declined at a far slower rate than we anticipated, and the extra push during our Valentine's Day campaign made all the difference."

The publication of Stephane Reynaud's Book of Tripe was expected to lift sales even further, and Sir Norman said tripe retailers had been warned to stock up on supplies in anticipation of this week's Channel 4 programme The Taste, in which tripe would be playing a starring role.

Sir Norman paid tribute to the sterling work of Mr Fergus Henderson who has worked tirelessly to restore the reputation of tripe: "He's the Godfather of tripe and no mistake! I hope Channel 4 learn the lesson and give the chap his own show.  We've been saying here at the TMB for a long time now that there's not enough tripe on TV."

The Taste will be broadcast at 9pm on Tuesday 25 February 2014.

18 February 2014

Make 2015 The Year of Tripe

Sir Norman Wrassle
The Tripe Marketing Board has launched a campaign to make 2015 the Year of Tripe.  The campaign will be launched by TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle later today when he speaks to the Todmordon Women's League at their annual general meeting.

Sir Norman said: "We have every opportunity to make 2015 the Year of Tripe.  Last year's inauguration of World Tripe Day - which will be celebrated this year with much gusto, I am sure - provided us with the perfect springboard to make 2015 a year to remember for tripe!"

Sir Norman challenged accusations in February's Offal Monthly that the TMB's earlier attempts to make 2014 the Year of Tripe had failed.  "Our campaign to make 2014 the Year of Tripe was something of a trial run," he said.  "It built on our 2012 campaign to make 2013 the Year of Tripe, and we have learned valuable  lessons about timing.  That's why we're launching this year's campaign so early.  It is important to build momentum for these things." 

Sir Norman also dismissed claims that sales of tripe had continued to decline, arguing that the provisional first quarter sales figures (not yet published) would surprise the industry. "Some people seem to think we can wave a magic wand and hey presto, everyone will be eating tripe.  But there are tentative signs that we are turning the corner" he said.

16 February 2014

Beat Boys To Reform To Promote Tripe

The Tripe Marketing Board is pleased to announce that the legendary Beat Boys will be re-forming for a special Concert of Tripe as part of the TMB's Spring 2014 'Be More Cow' campaign.

The West Coast sound of The Beat Boys, whose slightly off-key harmonies captured perfectly the sounds of a Lancashire summer - burgers sizzling, bingo calling and torrential rain - have not performed together since 2006, when they re-formed as a tribute band to The Pleasure Beach Boys, themselves a Beat Boys tribute band.

Band member Byron Watson, who has not appeared in public since he became addicted to cleaning the house and refused to go on tour, said: "I have been in treatment and am now ready to hit the road again."

Byron and his brothers Clive and Derek grew up in a Bispham boarding house run by their parents and together with their cousin Mick and next door neighbour Alf, a part-time candy floss salesman, cut their first disc in a make-your-own-record booth on Central Pier at the age of 12. They rose from playing the working men’s clubs of Blackpool to the Darby and Joan Clubs of St Annes in just 25 years. At the height of their fame in the late 1960s they appeared at The Lytham Palladium performing some of their greatest songs such as I’ll Get A Round, Oven Chips Are Nice and Thornton Cleveleys Girls.

As part of the campaign, the TMB plans to re-issue their finest album, Pit Sounds and their compilation album, Endless Winter.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "This is good news for anyone who has forgotten Lancashire's finest popular music ensemble - and it's good news for tripe!"

Be More Cow!

The Tripe Marketing Board will unveil its Spring 2014 campaign to persuade people to 'Be More Cow' at a launch event in Preston this afternoon.

The campaign, which will see a specially-commissioned 'battle bus' touring the towns and villages of East Lancashire and parts of Cheshire and the Wirral, will involve celebrity chefs, sportsmen and TV personalities offering samples of tripe to local shoppers.

TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle said: "On my recent fact-finding tour of the Canary Islands I came across a similar campaign promoting chocolate.  There were hundreds of local people queuing up to see what was on offer, and I have no doubt we can replicate that kind of thing with our new campaign."

The campaign kicks off in Blackburn on Saturday 1 March and reaches its culmination three weeks later in Nantwich, Cheshire. 

8 February 2014

The Book of Tripe

The Book of Tripe: and Gizzards, Kidneys, Feet, Brains and All the Rest by Stéphane Reynaud (Translated from the French by Melissa McMahon) Murdoch Books, London 2014

If you're a fan of nose to tail eating, or maybe just somebody who's enjoyed an offal dish or two in a fine restaurant, it's likely that you've been put off by the task of cooking these cuts of meat on your own. Indeed, I've worked up my own theory of why offal is so unpopular; it's not that we're so rich that we can afford to turn our backs on it - a quick glance at historical menus tells a rather different story - it's that offal is really easy to ruin.

This has meant that three essential books have been missing from our shelves. First, a home kitchen offal text book with clear directions on (for example) how to clean a kidney, parboil tripe, and peel testicles. Second would be a global encyclopedia of recipes.  Something that would tell you that tripe fried rice was eaten in Indonesia, and tripe and beans were from Tuscany. Finally, I'd want the cheat sheet - a book of easy recipes that I could crack open and cook on those nights that friends come over for a real nose to tail meal.

I was hoping that The Book of Tripe would fall into the first category - I've messed up an awful lot of lamb kidneys in my time - and would have been pleased to see it fall in the second, I'm a sort of food gossip, always wanting to know more about what people eat. What never occurred to me was that it would be in the third group; the perfect book to pull off the shelf when you're preparing a dinner party. It might not be a textbook, but The Book of Tripe offers great dishes, clear instructions, and measurements in American and European. A very useful book.

Looking at the tripe section alone; you can find Tripe With Tomato and White Wine, Tripe Salad and Gras-double á la Lyonnaise. All are dishes that you can be happy to serve, clearly described and within the skills of most hobbyist home-cooks. There's plenty more too, covering pretty much everything between the nose and tail. Even Cow Udder with Sauce Gribiche ... I mean ... I'm the sort of person who attends pig slaughters as a social event and I had no idea you could even eat the udder of a cow.

I do have one criticism of the book and it's something those of us in the English-speaking world have to take seriously. The book frequently instructs you to have your butcher prepare the offal. This may be possible in France or Italy, but here, any butcher that can properly clean a kidney is almost certainly in an immigrant market when English isn't spoken fluently. At local shops on my home turf of  New Jersey, USA, it's assumed that anybody who buys a pig's liver already knows what to do with it.

No, this isn't the definitive offal cookbook, it is a really terrific one though. A book that will get us serious home cooks through dozens of dinner parties. It's also a great starting point for pubs or locavore restaurants that want to add an offal dish or two to their menu.

So here I am, ready to invite people over for a Chicken Liver and Spinach Salad and some Tripe with Cider á la Mode de Caen and thanks to Chef Reynaud, I have clear instructions on how to make them. As long as I remember not to ask my very American butcher to de-bone a cow's foot for me, I'm in good shape.

Brian Yarvin
Author, Educator, Photographer
(Brian Yarvin's A World of Noodles is due for publication later this year).

For other tripe books, please visit the TMB's Bookstore.

6 February 2014

Mayor Intervenes To Stop Strike

Mayor Johnson
TMB Chairman Sir Norman Wrassle has brushed off a suggestion by Maurice Johnson, Mayor of Lytham that he would make himself available at a moment's notice to help resolve the strike that has paralysed the TMB's social media account since yesterday.

During an interview on Radio Lytham today, the controversial white-haired advocate of fracking said: "I believe the public are being ill-served by this wildcat strike.  If I understood the technology, I would be the first to step in to assist with Tweeting and posting on Facebook.  As it is, I am happy to intervene to act as mediator between the two sides."

Sir Norman Wrassle said: "One of our cleaners was able to make a couple of re-tweets today, but it's fair to say our Twitter campaign has been largely silent since the strike began.  We're not in the business of giving in to militants and extremists."

The 48-hour strike is expected to end at 10pm tonight, with the TMB holding firm to its current position of paying interns only their travel expenses and a meal allowance.