I have a tripe story as well....
My great grandmother was from just south of Naples. I was fortunate enough to know her until I was ~8 years old.
I still remember her being excited at see her three great-grandsons. Three people to carry on the family name. Her husband, my great-grandfather, died as young man in his 30s. To see three people to carry on the name meant much to her.
I remember going to her house in Providence with my parents and grandparents. Salted olives, strong tasting cheese, fried squash flowers. All things that seemed to my 8 yr old (or less) palette a bit odd at best, gross at worse. As a young child, I wanted McDonald's like my other friends..not this strange food! (Yes..I am still wondering what the heck I was thinking). As I become older, I learned to appreciate this simple food that came out of the poor culture of il mezzogiorno
This poor person food is now extremely expensive in high end restaurants. For my great-grandmother, it was just the food that poor people grew up with. Something to fill the stomach and feed not only the body, but the soul.
One dish that I have NOT
grown to appreciate or want to taste again is tripe. As a young boy of 7 or 8, my Dad gave me some that great-grandma made. It was chewy, mushy and rubbery all at once. I could only take one bite. I wanted my Happy Meal!
Tripe is the ultimate peasant dish; something made of a necessity when you could not waste any part of an animal. The genius of most ethnic cuisine is to take the unpalatable and make it exquisite. Chitlins, haggis, menudo, tripe (or trippa). In modern times, even in Naples, few people eat this dish anymore.
Maybe I will get ambitious again. The large Hispanic community in Colorado has the same organ meats for sale in their grocery store. I can only imagine what magic she would work on those "poor people" foods. Tripe is still the worse thing I ever ate...but there is still hope to revise my thoughts on that food.