Packet and Tripe as Art

Social history reimagined and re-presented

I detest tripe.  I fucking hate it.  I have never allowed it to pass my lips.  The very sight of the stuff makes me retch.

And that’s why I find the idea of an arts event based on tripe a little bit intriguing.

The SpiritStore group are developing a project  called the Catherine St Cultural Dig as part of the annual EV+A exhibition.  The project tries to connect the residents of these streets where some of us grew up with the work of the artists and one of these traditions is the pig industry.

Limerick was once a major centre of the pork and bacon industry and I know about this better than most, having grown up very close to one of the major bacon factories, with the smells and the noise and the appalling conditions.

The Dig’s discoveries about Limerick butchers will be presented at the corner of Catherine St and Thomas St on Saturday March 13.

At 6.00 you can feast on traditional Packet and Tripe. In fact you can have my share.  There will be a video of stories from the old women who have cooked the stuff for generations, a photo exhibition by Darren Ryan and playwright Mike Finn, author of Pigtown, will be cavorting with the Teaspach theatre group.

Spiritstore will also be running a festival based on the dig in May.   Check the details at SpiritStore.

(Pics by Darren Ryan)

16 thoughts on “Packet and Tripe as Art

  1. Saturday dinner and Sunday breakfast as a kid, and one dish I still love. (I come from a family of pork butchers.)
    Saturday sounds good. Ta.

  2. I have only ever seen this abroad, I tried it once and as to why anyone would choose to eat it (bar starvation) is beyond me.

  3. Have to agree with you Bock.
    My mother used to cook it on Staurday mornings,to have for lunch(lining the stomachs before my father and herself went off to watch Shannon play and sure then they had a few drinks)
    I couldn’t enter the kitchen because I used to retch too..
    Even thinking about it makes me retch.
    One word ROTTEN.

  4. Packet and tripe aside, the Ladies are beautiful and dont they look comfy and relaxed talking about something they know.Its nice to see the mammys and the traditions of Limerick get good attention.

  5. Treacy’s Packet & Tripe from the parish great stuff. Staple diet of the working classes since the middle of the 19th century until the middle sixties. Best taken before a brace of pints, with a little salt and pepper. Complete your education this weekend and enjoy a big plate of it.

  6. Tripe. I can remember it like it was yesterday.

    My family were going through a period of ‘financial retrenchment’ and all we could afford was ox-hearts and tripe. The siblings developed a technique of cutting it into small pieces, holding it with our teeth and then sucking mightily to make sure it came in contact with as few taste buds as possible.

    I can see I’m going to relive that trauma all day.

  7. Tripe. One of the classic foods of all time. I one had a tripe risotto in a Micheline starred restaurant in Italy, it was fantastic. I have had tripe in Normandy, Paris, the Basque Country, Spain, Portugal, Italy and of course Limerick. I worked with a girl from Mauritious and they used to have it curried. Treacys on a Saaturdau morning was mayhem, my father reckoned that there was a book in the place. Bring it back, if you can eat foie gras, you can eat tripe.

  8. Tripe is what evil tastes like. Lyon (the suppossed ‘gastronomic’ capital of France) is famous for the stuff. Uhh! Muck!

    Everything from Andouillette to Tablier Sapeur (we won’t even get into pigs ears and feet). It’s suppossed to be the regional speciality. Muck, muck muck!

  9. Muck, muck, muck as gaeilge = pig pig pig, well done C’est La Craic. What a talented bunch of posters.

  10. Packet and tripe – Celtic soul food. Nothing better first thing on a saturday morning, just finished mine…hmmm. Really feel sorry for those of you who have not yet experienced the wonders of this wonderful dish. Celtic historians have directly linked the banning of this dish by the early christians in Ireland as having played a major part in the decline of Celtic religions and culture.

  11. Thanks to everybody for coming on the day. It was cooked by Rod Gallivan in Frenchs Cafe and served by Teaspach theatre group in Faber Studios. 100 servings were eaten in about 40 minutes and the feedback was very good. Some of the Women shown above came on their way to mass and gave it the thumbs up. Our video of the day is up on It was my first time eating it and with slices of Bean an Ti bread i can confirm it is well Tasty!

  12. Those negative postings I would say… most are by the wimps who have never advanced past Mcdonalds. Seems to me i’m happy they hate it as Tripe is one of the lasty Gourme bastions bastardised by trendy and popular trendies who ultimately force the price skyhigh…. eg Lamb which has trippled in price in four years.
    Well trendies and wimps… just think about the tripe you are eating when you next tuck into Seafood extender and quite a number of chinese takeaway chicken dishes… Its used everywhere… so why not close your eyes and try it… Its gods food.

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