By Oliver Farrimond
THE SCOTTISH Government wants to bring TRIPE back to Scottish dinner tables.
Roughly £300,000 is to be spent pushing the unfashionable food, with experts praising the offal-based meat as “nutritious” and “valuable”.
2010 will see a major publicity drive backing the product, which is found in the stomachs of cows, pigs, sheep and goats.
Andy McGowan, head of industry development at Quality Meat Scotland, said: “Tripe is a valuable, nutritious product which offers opportunities both in domestic and export markets.
“Every part of the animal, from the fillet to the offal, has been raised to the same world-leading assurance standards.
“Subsequently, it’s a real waste for companies to be paying to dispose of animal parts that are recoverable and marketable.”
Although once a common sight on British dinner tables, tripe – known in the meat industry as the “fifth quarter” – fell out of fashion after being made part of Britons’ staple diet during the Second World War.
It is still considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, including France, India and Poland, where it is found in a variety of soup called Flaki.
And now experts predict that re-kindling the tripe trade could generate as much £3 million a year for the Scottish red meat industry.
Roseanna Cunningham, Environment Minister, said: “This support from the Scottish Government gives all processors a real opportunity to realise millions of pounds of extra revenue.
“It also shows our commitment to enabling businesses to play their part in cutting waste.
“Maximising the full economic value of the animal carcass makes sense on all levels.”
Food agency Quality Meat Scotland have even produced a field-manual for tripe producers, advising them on the best methods of producing the meat.
They hope that Scots increasingly adventurous food taste could lead to tripe becoming a dinner-time staple – and that meat processing companies make the most of the product.
Mr McGowan added: “In a time which has seen profit margins at the processing stage squeezed, it’s of critical importance for companies to see where they can increase income, increase efficiency and cut costs – and the recovery and sale of fifth quarter products ticks all these boxes.”