Hanging Tripe – Cow Intestines

In the back of the Point Sande Market, along the Artibonite River in Haiti, a woman hangs cow intestines on a line to dry in the sun.  Citrus juice from sour oranges is commonly used to clean many types of meat, including this – inside and out.  Once dry the intestines are cut up and used to flavor different foods, rice dishes, and vegetable stews.  Used like a spice, they add a refined meaty flavor.  For people who can’t afford meat, adding bit to other dishes gives a mild taste of beef.

Drying and dehydrating lean meat under natural conditions has been practiced for centuries to keep meat from spoiling.  It’s also a popular method in developing countries, particularly where cold storage is unavailable. Exposure of fresh meat to the sun or open air reduces water content so rapidly that no bacterial spoilage can take place, even though the temperatures may remain high.  You don’t have to go back many generations in your own family to when they ate meat in a similar way.

If you look closely at this image, the colors, shapes, and interactions have an interesting appeal.

Copyright 2011 Adam Bacher.  ALL rights reserved.  Absolutely NO usage without prior authorization.

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  1. Pete and Bo December 4, 2011 at 1:30 am #

    But you do have to wonder about the flies…

    • Adam Bacher December 5, 2011 at 10:21 am #

      I’m pretty sure the flies are removed before use. I don’t have an informed answer on this question, just more questions: Do you worry about flies when you eat outside – the ones that land on you? the ones that land on your food? Have you ever worked in the kitchen of a restaurant? If it’s cooked at a high enough temperature doesn’t that kill the germs? Cow parts are good protein, are flies good protein too? Even with beans and rice sometimes a fly or two get mixed in.

  2. Brad December 6, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    cow intestines.

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