Another initiative by the talented Sandrone family of Barolo, held on the last Sunday on October (this year, 25 October 2015), is the 15th year of an annual event, featuring "tutta trippa". The event involves days of preparation, from sourcing and preparing the tripe, cutting vegetables, and logistical organisation. I interviewed Mariagrazia Sandrone, wife of dynamic Franco Sandrone, butcher of Barolo, in the lead up to the event, and got the low down on the features of this special tradition.
Mariagrazia explained that the most important factor for both taste and quality, is to use the best tripe that has been hand washed and cleaned, without any bleaching. And how much do they use? Like all good food events, what started with humble beginnings in 2000 with a few pots of soup has grown to yield over 800kg of tripe. And to the tripe, they add chickpeas ('ceci') sourced from Nucetto, a local little mountain village in Piedmont. They also serve 'salami di trippa', a sort of terrine of tripe, sliced and served cold on crusty bread. As always, it is the quality and provenance of the primary ingredients which make the difference.
There are other features of the event, such as local cheeses, salami and sweets, local music entertainers and of course Barolo from Barolo.
But perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of this event is the community involvement. The cooking of the prized and very traditional "zuppa di trippa" kicks off at 3 am in the morning, involving input from all the community to help stir the soup, with grappa or Barolo in hand to help. As I am writing this, I am getting ready to pull myself out of bed at 3am to go and help out and be part of the stirring crew.
Eleanor Fletcher - living in the heart of the Langhe, Monforte D'Alba (Barolo). Searching for great eats, formidable drinks and fun times. Married to a Barolo and Barbaresco producer, plus a mother of two 'principesse'.