Fergus has often commented on how many chefs he has come across who, like him, have mothers who come from Lancashire. Fertile culinary ground! As a child Fergus’s mother Elizabeth would buy squares of tripe doused in vinegar and white pepper in Bolton market and chew them on the way home; with this early indoctrination tripe and onions made a frequent appearance at the dinner table. But for Fergus, it was the tripe buns that he ate in Florence as a student which truly started his ardent love affair. Braised in stock and tomatoes, then served in a crusty bun, with spoonsful of chilli sauce on the side, eaten at a pavement table with a carafe of red wine. That is lunch on the hop of the most civilised kind. Honeycomb tripe is the reticulum, the second stomach of the ox.
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