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Radio 4 show goes on the Yorkshire tripe trail

tripe Tripe: Still a delicacy for many. Picture courtesy Kit Logan on Flickr

Yorkshire’s tripe making heritage is to feature in a new three part special series on BBC Radio 4.

A Taste of Britain Revisited, which starts this Sunday, goes back to locations including Dewsbury and Leeds to pick up on the findings of journalist Derek Cooper who filmed a television programme there in the 1970s.

Cooper, who died in April, was the founding presenter of Radio 4’s The Food Programme, and travelled around the country to film food traditions that were disappearing as shopping and consumption habits changed in the 1970s.

Now producer Dan Saladino retraces his steps for the new series and discovers that Yorkshire’s tripe production is prospering in new markets.

“In the 1970s, Derek Cooper filmed people outside tripe stalls in Dewsbury eating basically cooked intestines of a cow with vinegar on. It was very, very cheap and affordable food for the working classes of Dewsbury at that time.”

He tells BBC in-house magazine Ariel that the stalls have now disappeared but tripe is still made locally because of its popularity in other cultures and shares a meal with an Ethiopian couple in Leeds.

“So whereas people in Yorkshire no longer eat tripe, for this couple, it’s an important part of their food culture and likewise with Polish people in Yorkshire, who are another reason why tripe continues to be made in Dewsbury.

“Another reason is because most of it is exported to China where consumption is still quite strong and a traditional feature. We explain why Derek Cooper found those [Yorkshire] traditions and why they continue but for completely different reasons and sustained by completely different people.”

A Taste of Britain Revisited is at 12.30pm on Sunday.

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