Tripe and Aussie Cooking in the 1950s.


by Michael Symons
In Adelaide in the 1950s, my grandmother was our family cook, turning out such standards as shepherd’s pie, lamb chops, and apple pie and custard.
She cooked tripe (see above) in white sauce as a treat. I liked it.
You don’t see tripe (in this case, the lining from a beastie’s second stomach, the reticulum) in your local butcher any more.
It’s something you have to order in advance. 
Tripe is associated with working class northern England nostalgia – flat caps, poverty and grime”.
An after-school favourite was a South Australian specialty, jubilee cake.
This was a teacake with dried fruit, which was iced and sprinkled with coconut. Sliced and buttered it was the best cake in the world.
Her cooking now seems plain, but unlike many people in the world at that time, she had access to quality ingredients, many of which were gathered from our Adelaide backyard.
Back then the choice in milk was simply the number of pints ladled by the milkman into our billy early each morning.
Bread was delivered by cart, too, and the greengrocer would fill an order from a large green van. Men used special tongs to carry huge, dripping blocks of ice down our gravel drive to the ice chest in the laundry.
My grandfather’s crucial contribution, other than ensuring that I sat with a straight back, was telling stories around the kitchen table.
Read more via Australia’s cuisine culture: a history of food – Australian Geographic.

3 thoughts on “Tripe and Aussie Cooking in the 1950s.

  1. I clearly remember my last plate of TRIPE. My mum was sick in bed and my dad (who cooked for the Army in New Guinea) dished me up a meal of tripe. Not only did it look revolting, the smell of it turned me off. I refused to touch it. My dad went into a rage and said you can stay there till it’s all gone. The tripe had long gone cold as I sat there glued to my chair staring down at this plate of ”sick”. With some caution I picked up the smallest piece on my plate and placed it into my mouth. Yuk it was chewy and had a revolting taste so promptly put it back on my plate. With that my dad leaped up from the table picked up the plate and pushed the entire plate into my face. My grandmother who lived with us was horrified. My sick mum got out of bed and comforted me. Needless to say we never had TRIPE in the house again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A great contribution Alex. I really do wish I had met your father in later life.. I suspect that the reason you had been set upon was it had probably happened to him as a child, good one!


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