During one of my speaking trips to Porto, I hit the books reading lots about Portuguse history, empire and amazing food but I kept seeing the word Tripeiros?
In Portugal whenever someone uses that word, the Portuguese immediately all know what it means but I didn’t but i do now .
Tripeiros is a nickname for the people who live in Porto.
For centuries the people of Porto were known simply as Tripeiros, and the reason is much simpler than you might think.
It's all to do with the food! More specifically the most traditional dish of Porto: “Tripas à Moda do Porto”. ( tripe in the style of Porto) Anthony Bourdain explore parts unknown came to my aid with a recipe.
Tripeiros literally translates to a person who eats tripes. Well if its the most consumed dish in Porto, it figures the people will be called that a bit like the people from Wigan are know as pie eaters.
You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a derogatory term Quite the opposite, in Porto they are very proud to be called Tripeiros.
Theres more to Porto’s gastronomy than just the Tripas – tripes.
One of the most well-known dishes is Francesinha, which is nickmnamed the hangover sandwich its a bit like a Like a Portuguese version of a Croque Monsieur, only with more meat and a tomatoey, beery sauce that can be spiced up with some chilli.
But back to Tripas they started way back in the 15th century.
Here’s the story:
In 1414, the then king – D. João I (King John 1) started making secret plans to expand the Portuguese empire by conquering the North Africa city of Ceuta.
He would have to to do this expansion by the sea, so needed a large navy with large ships and stronge sailors this sort of characterise Portugual for the following centuries.
So the king decided to send his sons, D. Pedro to Lisbon, and D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator) to Porto, to start planning and equiping the expedition.
When they arrived in Porto they were worried that they hadn’t enough manpower and supplies, and they turned to the population for help.
As quick as quick as a flash, Porto’s people not only offered themselves to go on the expedition but also offered all the meat they had in the city to keep the explorers strong, leaving only the tripes of the animals for those who stayed home.
And this is where the pride comes from. When the country needed their help, they gave themselves and everything they had for this huge adventure in detriment of their own wellbeing.
So now you know why people of Porto are called Tripeiros and what that means there is even a sculpture in honour of thier sacrifice.
Now, when you next come to visit the city make sure to try the food.