Tripe: muscle or organ?

Doing a little research on tripe. Some sources refer to it as a muscle, but it seems like it would be an organ. Most of the sources I can find on tripe on the web are dog food forums, so I'm hoping to get an answer from a culinary source. I already checked in Jennifer McLagan's Odd Bits book, and she doesn't classify it either way.

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HalfPint
HalfPint January 29, 2015

I always thought it was both since the stomach is defined as a muscular organ.

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Susan W
Susan W January 29, 2015

It's stomach lining, so wouldn't that make it a tissue? It gets lumped with organs, but it's definitely not a muscle.

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Droplet
Droplet January 29, 2015

It is both. It falls in the offal category, which anatomically speaking is distinct from the category of muscles and the category of bones. However, there are three different types of muscles in the human body - skeletal muscles, smooth muscle, and cardiac muscle. Tripe is of the smooth muscle variety whereas steak is of the skeletal muscle variety. Skeletal muscle has the filaments that you observe when you cut or pull meat, and smooth muscle has a different more unified structure because of the way it functions.

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Panfusine
Panfusine January 29, 2015

Technically it consists of slow muscle fibers, rather than the striated muscles that constitute meat. But these are so morphologically different!

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hardlikearmour
hardlikearmour January 29, 2015

Send Camas Davis of the Portland Meat Collective and see if she can tell you. I know it's from the first 3 chambers (rumen, reticulum, and omasum) of the stomach of cattle (maybe other ruminants as well), but I don't know if it's just the mucosal layer or if the muscularis layer is also included. My inclination would be to call it organ, but I bet Camas would know or be able to refer you to someone who does.

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petitbleu
petitbleu January 29, 2015

Oh, that's a good idea. I should've thought of that!

Susan W
Susan W January 29, 2015

Great idea HLA.

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