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Shkembe chorba

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Title: Shkembe chorba  
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Subject: Greek cuisine, Culture of Bulgaria, Bulgarian cuisine, List of Greek dishes
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Shkembe chorba

Tripe soup is a common dish in Balkan, Greek, Turkish, and Eastern European cuisine. It is widely believed to be a hangover remedy.


  • The Croatian language name is Tripice.
  • The Czech name is drštková polévka often shortened to simple drštkovka
  • The German names for this sour tripe soup include Kuttelsuppe, Flecksuppe, Saure Kutteln, or Saure Flecke.
  • The Greek version is usually called patsás (πατσάς < from Persian pacheh 'shank' < pa 'foot' + cheh 'lower', via Ottoman Turkish), and sometimes skembés (σκεμπές).
  • The Hungarian name is pacalleves
  • The Polish name is flaki or flaczki (which can also be literally translated to "guts").
  • The Romanian name is ciorbă de burtă; from ciorbă 'sour soup' < Turkish çorba + burtă 'tripe'.
  • The Slovak name is držková polievka
  • The South Slavic languages borrowed the name as shkembe chorba (Cyrillic: Шкембе чорба).
  • The Turkish name işkembe çorbası comes from Persian language shikambeh 'stomach/tripe' + shorba 'thick soup'. Shorba is from Arabic shurbat 'soup', from the root Š-R-B 'to drink'.



In Bulgaria, a whole pork, beef or lamb tripe is boiled for few hours, chopped in small pieces, and returned to the broth. The soup is spiced with ground red paprika which is briefly fried (запръжка), and often small quantity of milk is added. Traditionally, the soup is served with mashed garlic in vinegar and hot red pepper. There is a variant of the soup with intestines instead of tripe.

The soup was very popular with the working classes until late 1980s, and there were many restaurants serving only shkembe chorba (шкембеджийница, "shkembe-restaurant"). Later they were replaced by fast food restaurants but the soup is still highly regarded, and is part of the menu in any cheap to moderately-priced restaurant. Office workers avoid eating shkembe chorba at lunch, or eat it without adding garlic.

Czech Republic

The Czech version is heavily spiced with paprika, onions and garlic resulting in very distinct spicy goulash-like flavour.


There are a number of different German versions of this sour soup from southern parts of the country, including Swabia, Bavaria, and Saxony. Seasonings include lard, onions, garlic, meat broth, wine vinegar, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. In the nineteenth century in parts of the German Empire that are now Poland (like Königsberg and Silesia), "Flaki" was a street food. The tripe was cooked with long bones, celery root, parsley root, onions, and bay leaf. The tripe was then sliced, breaded and fried, and returned to the broth with some vinegar, marjoram, mustard, salt, and pepper.


The Greek version may be seasoned with red wine vinegar and garlic (skordostoubi), or thickened with avgolemono. The Greek version sometimes uses calf feet with the tripe.

Specialized tavernas serving patsa are known as patsatzidika. Because patsas has the reputation of remedying hang-over and aiding digestion, patsatzidika are often working overnight, serving people returning home after dinner or clubbing.


The Polish name is Flaki or Flaczki which is a traditional Polish meat stew. It can be an acquired taste, but is one of the many soups that are an important part of the Polish diet.[1] Its name is derived from its main ingredient: thin, cleaned strips of beef tripe (in Polish: flaki - which can also be literally translated to "guts").

Flaki has been consumed on Polish territory since the 14th century. It was one of favorite dishes of King Władysław II Jagiełło.[2]

The method of preparation may vary slightly depending on the region. Some common ingredients include beef tripe, beef, bay leaf, parsley, carrot, beef broth, and spices to taste, including salt, black pepper, nutmeg, sweet paprika, and marjoram. Ready-made convenience-type equivalents of the labor-intensive flaczki are available.[3] Sometimes pork tripe can be used instead of the beef tripe especially in the ready-made versions of the dish sold in Poland.

Tomato concentrate is sometimes added to flaki, and some may cook the tripe without a roux. A popular addition to improve the 'nobleness' is the addition of meatballs, which are often found in a regional variant known as 'flaki po warszawsku' (Warsaw-style flaki). Ready-made flaki in cans or jars are widely available in grocery stores throughout Poland which also include "Flaki po Zamojsku" (Zamość-style Flaki). A variant of flaczki, in which fowl stomach is used instead of cow’s, is also known and called ‘flaki drobiowe’ (poultry flaki). The soup is traditionally served during Polish weddings – as one of 'hot meals'. Flaki is eaten with fresh bread, usually with bread roll.


The Romanian ciorbă de burtă is similar to ciorbă de ciocănele (soup from chicken legs). Ciorbă de burtă is often seasoned with vinegar and sauce of crushed garlic mixed with a little bit of oil, called mujdei.

In Romania to make the soup sour one generally adds a home-made juice called borș (fermented wheat bran). It is often seasoned with vinegar or lemon juice.

The famous Romanian journalist Radu Anton Roman said about Ciorbă de burtă "This dish looks like is made for drunk coachmen but it has the most sophisticated and pretentious mode of preparation in all Romanian cuisine. It’s sour and sweet, hot and velvety, fatty but delicate, eclectic and simple in the same time.[4]"


In Serbia, this soup is made of fresh tripe cooked with onions, garlic and paprika. It is usually seasoned with fried bacon and more garlic, sometimes thickened with flour (запршка). Some versions of shkembe chorba are made with milk; garlic, vinegar, and chili peppers are often added as seasoning.


In Slovak cuisine, it's known as držková polievka.


In Turkey tripe soup (Tr: İşkembe çorbası) is generally made of cow's stomach and eaten usually with a vinegar-garlic sauce added on the table or with an egg yolk-lemon juice (called "terbiye") addition at the kitchen, after the cooking, just before service. Although the general denomination of "işkembe çorbası" is very common, especially at the traditional restaurants dedicated to this soup, other interiors (offal) of cow and sheep and "kelle" (sheep head meat, especially cheeks, baked) one can order his/her dish made from the various parts of the stomach which are: "Tuzlama, işkembe, şirden and damar". Like in several other countries it is seen as a "hangover remedy" and finds itself a place in almost all New Year's Eve menus, served right after midnight.

See also


Further reading

External links

  • Greek Patsas recipebe-x-old:Флякі

es:İşkembe pl:Flaki (potrawa)

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