Take-out tripe stew? No problem!

Quick question: how many of you are on such good terms with your local pharmacist that the thought of dropping off a food storage container is as nonchalant as filling a prescription?

Please allow me to explain, but first, a morning stroll up in the mountains this past Sunday. Of the few sunny days that August has brought us, this one in the neighboring village of Sogno made up for the dismal conditions earlier in the week. Back off you dank weather!

Sunday in Sogno

Everything looked that much brighter, vibrant, fresh – even this breadbox (pane/bread) used for home delivery service. I’ve seen other bread bins/baskets and if there isn’t one, delivery leaves the paper sack out on the windowsill. This is the only one with pane written on it.


Getting back on topic, we don’t know our pharmacist personally but she sets, no, she IS, an example of how unbelievably mellow life can be within a small community. At the annual Alpini festival in Sogno this past Saturday, we ordered tripe stew to go and it didn’t occur to us that there might be a problem in packing it securely. How far do you live? It’s a small bowl; it could spill. One of the servers – the pharmacist – swooped right in and said she would see if she could find a solution. Minutes later out she comes holding a bulky package wrapped tightly in foil. It looked like it contained more than 2 bowls of trippa and a plate of pasta.

A big bowl of tripe stew

We get home, peel off the layers of foil, and find a lidded bowl with enough tripe stew to feed not 2, but at least 4 people. Then we open the plate of pasta (it had another plate as its lid) and marvel that it’s a very generous helping of casoncelli pasta.

A big plate of casoncelli

Not bad for 12.50€, but compared to the Alpini lunch and dinner from 3 years ago, this was just a teaser. Our intention was to return the container after Sunday’s walk but as the place was crowded with Alpini and churchgoers, we were left with option #2. Upon handing us our meal the night before, the pharmacist had said, “If you can’t bring the bowl back on Sunday, no problem. Just bring it to me at work!”

10 thoughts on “Take-out tripe stew? No problem!

  1. Lisa

    That was so sweet of your pharmacist to do that for you guys! It’s wonderful to know such awesome people in our lives and how they touch our lives in small ways to enrich our hearts with smiles!! Hugz Lisa and Bear


    1. Rowena Post author

      Lisa, thank you for your wonderful comment. That is exactly the point I wanted to get across in this post. It’s the small acts of kindness that makes all the difference. ❤


  2. annieparis

    It would be unheard of in the uk Rowena, I don’t even know the people in the chemist/pharmacy… Takeaway or NOT the tripe would not be going in my mouth!!


    1. Rowena

      I’m confident that a lot of dishes (with peasant origins) would never touch the lips of outsiders, and that would also include me had I not moved here! Let’s see, first 5 that come to mind are:
      Coratella (braised dish of all the awfully offal parts in lamb)
      Teteun (cow teats!)
      Fritto misto genovese (a mix of fried meats and vegs on a stick that will include calf brain!)
      Creste di gallo (stewed cockscombs)
      Lingua in salsa verde (beef tongue in green sauce)


      1. annieparis

        Hi Rowena, the UK do Tripe, Tongue and Brains, have done for years and years, never been served them though and nor am I likely to serve them.


      2. Rowena Post author

        None of my friends (here or back in the states) would serve those either. They would be screaming “Mad Cow Disease” especially with the brains! Still, I keep looking at the recipe for Gordon Ramsay’s tripe with onions, lemon and parsley, and especially the comment by the portuguese reader who went into great detail for their version of cooked tripe – dobrada. It made me marvelously hungry!


    1. Rowena Post author

      I could see it happening in the smaller towns in the islands (where there’s only 1 pharmacist and he/she knows ALL of your ailments!). Truth is, I didn’t even recognize our pharmacist at first because it’s always MotH that goes in to get our pills. 😮


    1. Rowena Post author

      The first time I heard about tripe stew here, I was skeptical (in Hawaii my grandma used to cook it after slaughtering the cow and it STANK!). Here it’s entirely something else. It’s meltingly tender, with just the barest hint of that unforgettable tripe smell and taste. Put it this way – to this day I will not eat tripe anything in Hawaii, but here – no problem! 😉



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