Saturday, 21 December 2013

Octopus and Haggis

Enter the Kraken!
Everyone has their own tale of pot luck freezer bingo to share and I am no stranger to foraging through the desolate wasteland that is the bottom of our chest freezer and unearthing mysterious delights and artifacts of yesteryear. Organised people use pens and labels when they store food scraps, lumps of flesh and viscous liquids. I don't because I hate to deny myself the pleasure and thrill of bringing back bags of solidified matter from the bottom of the garden (our chest freezer is in our shed) and plonking it in a bowl, waiting for it to defrost. What can it be? How long has it been there? And more importantly, why did we freeze it in the first place? Precautions do need to be taken of course. A blow torch and crow bar is kept on standby, should the 'thing' come alive and attach itself to my face. Or worse still, to next door's cat. There is a lot be learnt from what happened to R.J.MacReady and those poor souls in Antarctica. However, the only thing that normally ever happens after the thaw is a state of confusion, rather than terror. I have frozen left over strawberry jelly before and to this day, I don't know why I did it.

But like I said, there are some pleasant surprises to be had and when I realised that I had some octopus in the freezer (left over from a bountiful trip to Billingsgate fish market) I went cock-a-hoop because I am quite partial to a bit of polpo yet have never cooked it at home before. The big question though was what to do with it. Octopus sort of sings summer and holidays in the Med to me, served cold with tomatoes and herbs or char-grilled with citrus zest. These cephalopods are meant to be great in stews but again the emphasis is normally on light seasonal flavours, rather than gutsy hearty winter grub. At a loss, as always I went on Twitter for suggestions and sommeALEier Melissa Cole came up with the idea of octopus stuffed with black pudding, garlic and parsley and braised in red wine, which sounded cracking. 

And then I got thinking some more, which can be dangerous, because I had some venison haggis in the fridge from Macsween which then kicked off a process of analytical thought that went along the lines of:

'Blood sausage, haggis, both meaty, spicy, a little bit offal-ly, a little bit whoar, could work, they are practically the same, except haggis doesn't have blood and black pudding doesn't contain oats, so really they are quite different but fuck it, I can't be bothered to go back out to the shops.'

So I put together a rather nice plate of food which all tied together surprisingly well. Sweet tender octopus tasting of the sea really does play well with the deep rich quality of haggis and the red wine sauce, reduced and intense, smacks you around the chops with the force of an amorous Kraken. And to give the whole dish a bit of extra zing, I sprinkled some fresh gremolata over the top.

In other words, you should try this. Seriously. Stop looking at me like that.

Octopus and Haggis - serves 2

1 medium sized octopus, cleaned, beak removed and beaten to within a inch of its life if fresh and dead or left alone if frozen and dead then de-frosted (freezing helps to tenderise it)

1 haggis (like I said, I had some Macsween venison haggis which sounds la-de-dah and was very lovely but in all honesty I couldn't tell the difference from regular haggis)

Half a bottle of red wine (I used a fine Valpolicella from Aldi)

1 onion, sliced

1 carrot, sliced

1 stick of celery, sliced

Half a head of garlic

A bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay

10 peppercorns, crushed

Large knob of butter and some more butter, cold and cubed to finish the sauce at the end.

Method

Take a casserole pot, one that is not too big but big enough to neatly fit your octopus whole and place on the hob over a medium heat. Add the butter and once it begins to foam, add the onion and gently fry until the onions become nice and soft. Then add the celery and carrot and bouquet garni cook off for another 5 minutes or so. Spread the vegetables evenly over the base of the pot and place the octopus on top, then pour the wine all. Bring up to a gentle simmer and continue to simmer for an hour until the octopus is tender enough to push a fork through the flesh.

Meanwhile, cook your haggis as per instructions. The Macsweens only takes 25 in boiling water (this was a limited edition sausage-worth of haggis though.

When cooked, remove your octopus and chop into bite sized pieces. Sieve the remaining red wine, removing the vegetables and herbs into a clean saucepan and place back onto the hob to reduce by two thirds. Take off heat, stir through a couple of cold cubes of butter to add some sheen and put the octopus bites back into to the sauce to warm through.

Plate up by spooning a bed of haggis on a warmed er..plate (I used to chef rings for extra 'ponce') and then pile up the octopus on top, scattering some of the prettier looking pieces around for even more ponce. Drizzle the reduce sauce over the top and add your sprinkle of gremolata. Serve straight away, with sauteed potatoes and carrots, if you so wish.



No beak
Venison Haggis no less
Octopus and Haggis
Sophistication on a plate

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Sticky Mickey and Tricky Tortellini


Have you ever made tortellini? You know, those navel shaped, lightly stuffed, round parcels of pasta? They are like ravioli. Ravioli that come with just little bit of extra inner turmoil, a touch of teenage angst. Anyway, if you have made them before, you will know that the hassle is worth it. Actually, once you've got the knack, they are quite easy to make. Because all you need to do is to roll your dough out, using a pasta machine or a rolling pin. You then lay the strip of dough, springy and elastic, along a clean, lightly floured surface. You dot your chosen filling at intervals towards the bottom of the strip and then you fold the pasta over and then you cut it out with.......

No wait, you actually cut the strips of pasta into squares first and then you put your filling in the middle and then you fold the square into a triangle like a wonton and then you press out the air and seal and then wrap......

No, hang on, you cut round circles out of your strips of pasta and then you put the filling, not too much, at the bottom of the circle, fold and then wrap around your thumb. Or is it your little finger? And then....look it's squidging out, the filling is squidging out everywhere..........................................

Let's look at the Internet, let's see how they do it on the Internet....... See Giorgio Locatelli can do it. It's easy and I have done this before........ I have time, I have lots of time. People will be here in about 2 hours. I have 2 hours and people will be here and I have yet to cook the ballotine of turkey or make my rosti. I haven't even started on the red wine sauce yet and I am trying to make tortellini. Simple, sodding, tortellini. It's easy, I have done this before, I know I have and look.......look, it keeps squishing out all over the place. My hands are trembling......... WHY? WHY AM I DOING THIS? WHO CAME UP WITH THE IDEA OF MAKING TORTELLINI? THIS IS ALL S**T! GOD, I HATE MAKING PASTA!!! 

*cue sounds of smashing and crashing*

OK, let's make tagliatelle instead.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, preparations for a dinner party went slightly awry a couple of weeks ago and the rambling monologue above should give you some insight as to how I dealt with the situation. The plan was to cook up an alternative Thanksgiving meal for myself and some special guests, working in conjunction with Great British Chefs and Corney & Barrow, matching their recipes with their wine. And by and by, the meal was a success. A golden rule I have though is to always keep things simple for dinner parties and perhaps if I had plumped for the option of pumpkin soup rather than pumpkin tortellini, then perhaps prepping during day wouldn't have been quite so stressful. But you live and learn and I have decided that from now on if I am ever going to make tortellini again, I am going to take things slowly and make them by dulcet candlelight, with a glass of red wine, when I have all the time in the world. Or I might just go to the shops to buy them instead.

However, like I said, the evening was still great fun and it was wonderful to have some fellow Essex bloggers, namely Big Spud and Bistro Becs, come over to my house to eat and drink and to shoot the breeze with on a school night. Big Spud Gary even gave an excellent rendition of the Oath of Allegiance. This was supposedly to be a Thanksgiving meal after all. Although I do feel that the theme was lost on us all after a few cheeky glasses of vimto. Still, seeing as wine and food pairing was main point of the night, here is a brief appraisal of each dish wot I cooked and the wine as selected by Corney & Barrow.


Pumpkin tortellini tagliatelle with chestnuts

and a sage beurre noisette

(served with Veigadares Albarino, 2011)
So yes, the tortellini didn't materialise but I felt that even if I still served up pasta anyway (ie tagliatelle) then the dish would still be a hit with the Veigadares Albarino, billed by Corney & Barrow as 'one of the hidden treasures of the world.' Given that pumpkin can be very sweet, the acidity of the Albarino certainly worked as a foil to cut through the richness of the dish, yet was still fruity enough to balance out the savoury thwhack from the sage beurre noisette. The warm chestnut also went down very well, along with the extra bits of bacon that I added at the end, which weren't in the original recipe. (Top tip: if you ever feel like you have cocked up a recipe, always add bacon. People soon forget once they've had bacon)

Empty plate

Ballotine of turkey with spinach, braised baby gems, potato rosti and thyme jus

(served with Muddy Water Slow Hand Pinot Noir, Waipara,

New Zealand, 2009)
The main course consisting of turkey breast wrapped in parma ham with a herbed rosti and sauteed lettuce was a big hit at the table, along with the Pinot Noir. Turkey breast nearly always suffers from the danger of overcooking and can become dry and insipid but using Graham Campbell's method of poaching in foil ensured that the bird came out beautifully moist. My rosti could have done with a bit more seasoning but I have rekindled my love for grated spuds and have been making them ever since. And the braised baby gem was a revelation. Winter normally calls for hardier greens such as kale and cabbage to be served at the table but if you ever felt in need of something lighter (especially on Christmas Day) then shredded lettuce, tossed quickly in butter is definitely the way forward. In terms of matching, well the Muddy Water Slow Hand was greeted with applause from everyone. It was refined enough to match the delicate flavour of the turkey yet still had the punch to tackle the heady thyme jus. This red really was a lovely surprise and is definitely one that I want to try again.

Muddy Water Slowhand Pinot Noir 2009

Spiced apple crumble slice

(served with Sticky Mickey Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Eradus, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2013)
Mrs FU was in charge of dessert and being the pudding queen that she is, served up a handsome slice of spiced apple crumble, as dreamt up by Marcus Wareing. Her main concern when making it was that the shortbread base had come out far too "cakey" for her liking. Yet when we tucked in, it soon became evident that Mr Wareing was opting for a variation of texture. Crunchy shortbread and a crunchy topping would have been two dimensional. In fact, I announced this to the rest of the table, ending with "Oh yah, I can so see what he is trying to achieve here dahlink." Which was a slight blast of pomposity but I blame Sticky Mickey for that. Now I liked this dessert wine and felt that it married up well with the ginger and cinnamon flavours of the slice but opinion was definitely divided, with some reporting too much of a cloying, funky after taste. So obviously I had to help the detractors by finishing off their glasses too before sending them off gaily into the night (we also drank a fair bit of Prosecco).

As a parting gesture regarding food and wine matching, someone once said to me that the whole notion of pairing was slightly ridiculous, as ordinarily whenever you turn up to someone's house with a bottle for a dinner party, you don't normally make a prior enquiry as to what is on the menu. You just walk in with something that you hope is presentable and not too cheap/bad and you certainly don't worry about whether its going to go with the food. "Have you ever drunk some wine that has totally ruined a meal? No, you drink what is on the table and quite regularly you have a great time don't you? Because you are drinking with friends and family." And there is an element of truth in that but at the same time, I do think that if you go the extra mile when combining wine and food, it does to help oil the wheels just that little bit more. 

And anyway, it's just an observation that I got from a bloke, who I might have met in the pub. Or maybe it was in a wine bar. I can't remember.

Thanks go to Gary and Rebecca for heading out to the darkest sticks on a Thursday night and thanks go to Corney & Barrow for supplying the wines. 

As part of the festive celebrations, Corney & Barrow have kindly offered readers of Food Urchin 15% off all wines from their Christmas shop. Just use the code GBCBLOG and you too could be the proud owner of a bottle of Stickey Mickey or Muddy Water (how do they come up with these names...?)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Just popped out for some milk.....

I got a rather touching if somewhat anonymous email from someone this morning asking if I was OK and if indeed I were still alive, as I "hadn't done much in the way of silly buggery writing lately." Which I have to say, very nearly moved me to tears. The thought that someone should care so much as to what I put up on this blog is quite heartening and did much to restore my faith in humankind today. Alright, it might well have been my Mum. Although if she ever felt that I was in need of a gentle nudge, I don't think she would use the pseudonym 'sexybum'. Maybe it was my wife. Or maybe it was someone who liked the look of my kitchen in that ad. Which wasn't my kitchen by the way but I have had lots of emails from people asking about my fantastic kitchen from that ad. Oh well, it doesn't matter, as long as this person isn't stalking me then that's fine........hahahahahaha!

*parp*

But yes, things have been quite barren on FU of late, purely because I've been busy doing lots of other stuff. Like watching MasterChef: The Professionals (for my sins) and writing up concise yet erudite reviews of the show. You can see read them on The Staff Canteen and also on Great British Chefs. I have also been eating out fair a bit in local restaurants and pubs for local people; some of which do need an appraisal on here and some do need a bit of a shoe-ing too (yes, that means you Greene King). I have also been eating a lot at the Clerkenwell Kitchen, my new (old) fave place for lunch near the office.

I have also been going to food and drink fairs such as the BBC Good Food ShowFlavours of Herefordshire and the mighty Rochford Beer Festival, where George's Merry Gentlemen was the pick of the bunch. Going back to food shows though, it never ceases to amaze me the whole culture of scavenging at these things. Of course, if you've paid for a ticket to get in then you should do your very utmost to sample everything that is on offer. But I swear some people make it their mission to sample EVERYTHING THAT IS ON OFFER and then some. I spotted one bloke in the toilets at Olympia change outfits with wigs and everything before running back outside for another tidbit relay race. And he didn't wash his hands.

I have also been filming on a top secret project that sadly isn't a cooking show proper but if it were a cooking show proper it would be the best cooking show proper you've ever seen. More details to come but let me just say this, Eddy Sunday is heading your way soon.

I did also get up to some home videoing for a burgeoning You Tube channel of mine. You might recall the idea but I must admit I have been suffering from the high end anxiety of looking like a twat after filming said shorts. You know what it's like, you do something on tape (or memory card) and then you play it back and then you think 'OMG what a twat!' and then the whole idea gets shelved for a couple of months. It is a good idea still, I just need to get over these feelings of embarrassment and inadequacy.

Other than that, I have been working hard with the day job, the pesky day job that gets in the way of aspiration and delusions of grandeur. At the back of my mind (and here comes the standard, whining self-reflecting part of the blog) I do feel like I should get back on the hobby horse and do some more adventure cooking and recipe stuff. Alas, there doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day at the moment (tiny violin). Mind you, I did make some very nice Christmas Pudding ice cream last night with Galton Blackiston.

However that should all end soon and FU should be up and running again in no time at all. At present I am finishing off a post that will put the Land of Cheese to shame.

So 'sexybum', whoever you are, I am still here and I hope that answers your question.

As for the rest of you out there, who might not even give a monkeys, I only just popped out to the shops for some milk and I am coming back soon.

Obligatory food photo - Cup of tea with microwave porridge and a splodge of Blaisdon Red Plum Jam (from The Artisan Kitchen)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Poor Crab Concentration

Don't mess with The Crab Brothers
Is there anything more tricky than getting the meat out of a cooked crab? In terms of food prep I mean. Peeling grapes, artichokes or broad beans maybe? I've spoken about broad beans before, the little emerald bastids. What about skimming chicken stock though? All that negotiating amongst onions and carrots along the surface of a barely bubbling pot, with slotted spoon to lift the scum, can be a royal pain. Or de-veining prawns? Now that is a right kick in the pants. Once, after suffering the woes of a shaky paring knife, I quickly came to the conclusion that friends coming for dinner could bloody well enjoy their Goan tiger prawn curry with intestinal tracts intact.

Crab though is quite possibly the zenith of fiddly-fartnackery in the kitchen. Early on Saturday morning I visited Billingsgate fish market with a bloke in the know *taps nose* and returned with a whole host of deceased marine life, bundled into black rubbish sacks. Including three rather stern looking boiled crabs. Crabs always look cross to me. Except when you pop their claws and legs off. Then they look like over-baked empanadas with beady eyes.

So, after returning home and having a nice cup of tea, I set to the task of cracking them apart and hammering to pieces with the back of a cleaver to extract their sweet juicy white flesh and dubious looking but still tasty brown gunk. Crab sandwiches for lunch were on the agenda and I am glad that I started at 10AM because by the time the young food urchins of the household came wandering in, rubbing their tummies at noon; well, I had just about finished.

Two hours is a long time to commit to any activity, yet when it comes to crab, I do become a bit of a stickler. Every little morsel should be accounted for. Eyeballs focus sharply down the empty channel of a hairy leg. Skewers probe nooks and crannies, picking gently, forensically. Slivers and flakes of meat drop into a metal bowl. A heaped, briny, pilaf mountain begins to form. And the tongue, as always when I am concentrating really hard, lolls out from the side of my mouth, like a wet pink sock.

This last inclination is quite interesting actually. Ever since I was a little boy, I have always used my tongue to get me through difficult tasks. Writing, drawing, doing my shoelaces up, right up to this day. According to one noodling friend, it's quite natural. Your tongue is in fact a conduit for brain-power. Stick it out like an aerial and marvel as it absorbs the throbbing alpha waves emitting from your skull.

The one thing that gets me though is this. When I finish prepping crab and dress it with mayo, a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt and pepper and slather some of the fine, grainy pate on some heavily buttered brown bread and finally take a bite, why do I always find a piece of shell?

There must be something wrong with my tongue.

Crab intact/Crab destroyed
Crab pilaf and young boy with crab remnants
Crab sandwich

Thursday, 24 October 2013

World Tripe Day: An interview with Sir Norman Wrassle

Today is World Tripe Day and I must admit, I have only just recently cottoned on to this marvelous campaign that seeks to promote the inherent beauty of tripe. Tripe is a quality ingredient and is understated in this country and does not get the recognition it deserves and it should. Personally, I will never forget the day Mum brought back some fresh tripe from the market for our Labrador 'Lucky'. The smell was unforgivable and unforgettable in equal measure and my faithful hound always used to wolf it down with great aplomb.

He died too young that dog and I still miss him but if it wasn't for my dear companion,  I don't think I would ever have tried tripe. And that would have been a crime because there is nothing better than the soft, velvet texture of a feathery, honeycombed stomach that has been left boiling in a stock pot for 56 hours.

Anyway, this whole colonic drive has been orchestrated by none other than the Tripe Marketing Board and in an effort to help spread the word, I decided to get in touch with Sir Norman Wrassel, the inspirational and enigmatic chairman of the TMB (Tripe Marketing Board for short) for an exclusive interview.

Contacting Sir Norman was tricky at first. I kept getting through to a taxi firm in Burnley. But eventually I got through to the man himself and had a brief chat as he went for a double birdie on the golf course at Lytham.

The transcript of the interview is as follows. Although it might not be entirely accurate as there was quite a gale blowing at the time and we couldn't hear each other very well.
Sir Norman Wrassle
Hello Sir Norman, thank you for taking the time out to talk to me, you must be very busy at the moment.

It's fine, it's fine but it's raining pitchforks and hammer handles out here and I've left my galoshes in the Bentley so if you don't mind getting a move on.


OK, great, so where were you born and did you have a pleasant upbringing?

I was born in Wigan in 1940. It was a mixed marriage. My father was a carnivore and my mother was a vegetarian. They both worked in the local tripe factory. My father went on to become a meatball salesman. As a result, I have always been torn between tripe and meatballs. But one thing is certain. I’ll never become a vegetarian. I’ve always been loyal to meat.


It was a traditional working class childhood. Times were hard but no one complained. Apart from my parents.

I remember on one occasion during the War, some German planes on a bombing raid flew over our street. They must have thought it had already been bombed because they turned back
.

Tell me, what sparked your very first interest in tripe?

Tripe
Tripe is in my blood. Generations of Wrassles have worked in the tripe industry. In fact, there’s very little blood in my veins. It’s mainly liquid tripe. I’m speaking figuratively, of course. But tripe was a very important part of my diet. You must remember that I grew up during the War when many foods were rationed. But there were plentiful supplies of tripe. In fact I ate little else apart from tripe and meatballs. Not together, of course. Tripe was for weekdays and meatballs were a special treat for Sundays and Bank Holidays.

My mother used to leave me outside the tripe factory in a pram whilst she went to work. When we went home she would have raw tripe hidden in her clothes. Bits of tripe which had been discarded or had been left over. We were always followed by packs of dogs. When she got home she’d start to clean and prepare it. It’s called tripe dressing. One week later it would be ready to eat. I think it was the preparation which turned her into a vegetarian.


And where were you educated and can you give me a brief overview of your career in trade and commerce? I mean, have you always worked in tripe?

I didn’t have much of an education. I bunked off school as much as I could and by the age of six I was grafting on Wigan market at weekends selling pickled cucumbers. I left school at 14 and went full time. I spotted a gap in the market so I opened a second stall. At the age of 18 I was seriously injured when I fell off the back of a lorry. That’s how I got into surgical appliances which is how I made my first fortune.

So what was the driving force behind setting up the Tripe Marketing Board? And how is the campaign going? Can you give me any real figures for rising or dipping sales in tripe?

I didn’t set up the Tripe Marketing Board. It was set up by the government back in the 1970s in order to promote sales of tripe. I have been its chairman since 1997. We’re good at promoting tripe but you can’t force it down people’s throats. That’s no longer part of our strategy. But despite our best efforts, sales of tripe continue to decline. According to our latest research, sales of tripe are at their lowest ever levels at around 0.0002g per person per year. But we look on this as a positive. Because if lots of tripe was being sold there’d be no need for the Tripe Marketing Board and I’d be out of a job!

And we can't be having that now can we Sir Norman! I see that you have many celebrities on board including Jessica Ennis (a gold-medal winning athlete and star of a TV advert for Santander), Norman Whiteside (former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer) and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson (Paralympic gold medallist who incidentally follows you on Twitter), all self confessed lovers of tripe. Do you have any other famous fans waiting in the wings?

David Lloyd has outed himself as being partial to a bit of elder. We know of lots more celebrities who are partial to tripe but they’re afraid to admit it in public because they think it will damage their reputation. That’s because tripe has an old fashioned image and that’s why we’re trying to give it a makeover and make it sexy. I know that at least two of the stars of The Only Way Is Essex are partial to tripe and we understand from our colleagues at US Tripe that Miley Cyrus is a big fan of tripe, too. But that’s strictly off the record.
Former tripe dressers
I reckon you should get Great British Bake Off winner Frances Quinn involved, as there are persistent rumours on Twitter that she continually used desiccated tripe as one of her secret ingredients to win Mary Berry over.

I’m afraid I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. Sorry.

OK, well ......are there any plans to publish a cookery book proper? I know there are some recipes on your website. Lancashire Calamari is a certainly smash hit in our house on a Tuesday night. Actually, whenever I ask "What night is it tonight kids?" they always cheer back "TRIPE NIGHT!"...........um, what's your favourite tripe recipe by the way?

We did have plans but I’m afraid my autobiography got in the way. It’s provisionally called A Life Of Tripe and I’ve nearly finished writing it. It spills the beans on what life is really like in the tripe industry. It covers everything from my childhood in the back streets of Wigan to my meteoric rise to successful businessman and chairman of the TMB. It definitely pulls no punches and will be well worth reading. My favourite recipe is definitely old fashioned stewed tripe and onions.
Dog tripe
Here's an idea, have you thought about pitching the BBC about formulating a new(ish) cookery show format called the Great British Tripe Off?

Did you say Jewish cookery show? No. We have no plans to do that. Tripe is for everybody.

It definitely is. Whatever happened to Tripe Hut, your chain of fast food restaurants?

Tripe Hut was a franchise which operated back in the early 70s for about two weeks. It was privately owned and had nothing to do with the Tripe Marketing Board. The history of Tripe Hut is told in a chapter called ‘Tripe - Food Of The Gods’ in a very good book entitled Forgotten Lancashire And Parts Of Cheshire And The Wirral by Dr Derek J Ripley which I can recommend highly.

More importantly, whatever happened to Timothy Tripe, the mascot of the Tripe Hut chain of fast food restaurants who was attacked by a Jack Russell whilst promoting tripe in Wigan in 1979?

Are you referring to the mascot or the person who wore the mascot costume? The man who wore the costume was traumatised by the attack and became a vegan. I believe the costume was recycled and became Marvin the Moose, the mascot of Cambridge United FC.

The Tripe Girls
You have a 10 step programme for people who suffer from reticulumophobia* which advises people to look at pictures of tripe. And then advises them to try and touch pictures of tripe. And then advises them to buy tripe in cling flim (but not touching). And then advises people to have a stiff drink before touching the tripe in cling film. To finally opening the cling film and physically touching the tripe. Do you have a good success rate through this method and what is the worst case of reticulumophobia* you've encountered?

I’m afraid I can’t claim credit for the programme. It’s the brainchild of Dr. BF Skynyrd of the Department of Psychology, Philosophy and Home Economics at the University of Wigan. You’ll have to contact him. A summary of his research is published in The Tripe Marketing Board 2014 Diary as How To Overcome Your Fear of Tripe In 10 Easy Steps.

And finally, where do we go from here with tripe?

Tripe is what you make it. I’m sure you will understand that I am extremely busy preparing for the inaugural celebration of World Tripe Day tomorrow and will have to leave it there as I have an appointment for a manicure and full body massage in Blackpool in 20 minutes.

Thank you Sir Norman, it was a pleasure talking to you.
Love life. Love tripe
And there you have it. A somewhat illuminating and rigorous interview, I am sure you will agree. Right up there with Frost and Nixon, getting to the heart of the matter and hopefully debunking some myths about tripe.

However, if you would like some more information regarding this glorious, effervescent offal, I would urge you to go out and buy the Tripe Marketing Board's Diary for 2014. Which not only contains a whole range of tips, recipes and some very interesting facts about the tripe industry but by doing so, you will be helping the Snowdon Trust who will benefit enormously in the run up to Christmas. It may well help finance further activity by the TMB (Tripe Marketing Board) as well.

So it's down to you folks, the future of tripe is in your hands.

*I patented this phobia by the way, a fear of tripe in 1995 and I am still waiting to hear back from the Oxford English Dictionary for its insertion into the nation's lexicon.

Disgruntled after being mis-sold pluck disguised as tripe by The Ginger Pig. A predatory and illegal activity that the TMB (Tripe Marketing Board) is keen to stamp out