|Mouse wine (pic The Guardian)|
Tripe features in the museum as an ingredient of the classic south and central American dish, Menudo.
Speaking at a meeting of the West Lancashire Soroptimists, Sir Norman said he was not there to defend menudo, but he wanted people to understand that tripe didn't have to be disgusting. "There are literally dozens of ways to cook and prepare tripe to make it relatively tolerable, so to include tripe in this museum at all is a little unfair to our fine product," he said. He pledged that he would personally visit the museum at the earliest practicable opportunity to see exactly how and why tripe was being featured, adding "Putting tripe alongside dead baby mouse soup seems more than a little unfair to me."
In response to questions from the audience, Sir Norman refused to be drawn on reports which had surfaced in the West Lancashire Argus that a TMB staff member had launched an Employment Tribunal appeal after she had been required to eat a bowl of Bulgarian tripe soup on a recent visit to Sofia during celebrations for World Tripe Day. "We do not comment on internal staffing matters, but I want to make it clear that there was no force-feeding involved and nor was this a part of some bizarre TMB initiation ceremony, as has been suggested," Sir Norman said.