Although there are many variations of this dish throughout Europe, the Balkans and Asia, “Patsas” or otherwise known as Tripe soup has been a staple food for many Greeks throughout the years.
It is renown for many things, whether it’s considered the best hangover remedy, a meal for the hard-workers or just simply enjoyed as a normal, everyday meal.
Originally a working-class dish, eaten by heavy-duty workers, stall-owners at meat or farmer’s markets, or simply enjoyed by patsas enthusiasts, it is usually consumed very late at night or in the wee-hours of the morning; it is considered a stomach-soothing dish for those who have just finished a hard night of drinking and partying, and need something to fill that gap in their stomach so as the next day’s hangover will be more bearable. It is also highly nutritious with protein, vitamins and essential minerals, and also known to soothe stomach ulcers.
An owner of a “patsas” joint used to repeat an old saying that goes, “the reveler wants the night to last forever, but since it has to end, he ends it the best way he can, with a patsas breakfast”.
The key to whipping up a good bowl is to have good quality meat and make sure that all ingredients are thoroughly washed.
The basic Greek Patsas recipe consists of:
They start off by boiling the organs and changing the water every so often so as to clean the meat. This is done for quite a few hours, so as to make sure the meat has been properly cleaned. Bear in mind that the smell tends to be overwhelming and can be off-putting. Once the meat is tender, it is taken out and chopped into little pieces, (keeping the feet whole for avid Patsas’ customers to enjoy as a special treat).
They add the olive oil and onions to the pot, simmer and add the rest of the ingredients along with water, bring to a boil, and voila, food is ready to serve!
There are variations of adding crushed chili flakes or pickled garlic as a garnish to give that extra punch. With a cold beer, or a glass of wine, and nice homemade bread, your meal is set.
It can be found pretty much anywhere in Athens, whether at “patsatzidika”, or more alternative local taverns.
It truly is worth a try!
Cover Photo Credits: https://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%A3%CE%BF%CF%8D%CF%80%CE%B1