Lyon is the world capital of gastronomy, and you can taste the most delicious dishes in this city. One of them is tablier de sapeur (sapper's apron). This dish is made from beef tripe, but this should not dissuade you from ordering it. Marinated in white wine and then fried, tablier de sapeur is a peculiar and delicious specialty from Lyon. So, if you visit this city, make sure to taste this traditional local beef tripe dish.
The man who gave the name to this famous dish from Lyon was Boniface de Castellane. He was a French military officer, and he was named a senator and the military governor of Lyon under Napoleon III in 1852. But, the Maréchal de Castellane was also known as a fine gourmand and an immoderate tripe lover. This dish from Lyon was initially called "tablier de Gnafron," meaning the "Gnafron's apron." Ganfron was a famous marionette, but the marshal decided to rename it into "tablier de sapeur". Boniface de Castellane was also a former sapper, and he wanted to pay its tribute to those brave soldiers. Those military engineers were wearing the uniforms with a leather apron to protect themselves while performing different duties such as digging trenches towards the enemy.
It is relatively simple to prepare this famous dish. The most important thing is to ask your butcher for the beef tripe or to be more precise for the "gras-double." This is one of the four parts of the cow's stomach. You should put it in a large salad bowl and marinate them the entire night in white wine, with a clove of garlic, a sliced onion, lemon juice, a little bit of olive oil and a tablespoon of mustard. The next day, you should drain it and fry until it becomes tender. Tablier de sapeur could also be prepared with eggs and breadcrumbs. This delicious meal is often served simply with potatoes, the sauce gribiche - a mayonnaise-based sauce, and a green salad. And last but not least, don't forget to serve a local red wine like Beaujolais or Côte-de-Brouilly with this dish.
You can always make tablier de sapeur at home, but still, the best way to enjoy this meal is to order it in any local restaurant in Lyon. Those restaurants, also known as bouchon, are perfect places to taste this traditional beef tripe dish from Lyon. The Bouchon of Cordeliers is a restaurant situated in the center of Lyon where food is made from fresh and seasonal ingredients, and the atmosphere is more than authentic. In this restaurant, you will only have one problem. Which peculiar local dish to choose from their menu: the traditional andouillette, the delicious quenelle, or the famous tablier de sapeur?
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