Tripe rations have the second-highest random generation probabilities in the comestibles class at 140/1000, after food rations. If you are polymorphed to orc or non-humanoid carnivorous (e. g. a canine through lycanthropy), you can eat it as a normal food ("Mmm, tripe... not bad!" for orcs, "Tastes great! Less filling!" for hallucinating orcs, "That tripe ration was surprisingly good!" for non-humanoid carnivorous monsters).
Tripe rations are primarily useful as pet food. A tripe ration is considered a treat for carnivorous pets (like dogs and cats) used to increase the pet's Apport, the NetHack statistic which represents how likely a pet is to fetch items for you - useful for getting your pet to steal from shops. Apport is not to be confused with tameness, which is a measure of how resistant your pet is to going wild: although a tripe ration will also increase a carnivorous pet's tameness, so will common corpses. Tripe, like other meat, may be thrown to a dog or cat to tame it.
Carrying a tripe ration in your main inventory will make a carnivorous pet stick around closer to you.
Throwing a tripe ration (or any other meat) to a hostile horse will make the horse peaceful, even though the horse will not eat it (and the tripe can be safely retrieved), just as throwing vegan food at a hostile dog or cat will make it peaceful.
Messages when eaten
- That tripe ration was surprisingly good!
- Carnivorous non-humanoid
- Tastes great! Less filling!
- Orc, while hallucinating
- Mmm, tripe... not bad!
- Yak - dog food!
- Otherwise. Gains 1 experience point and (unless cannibalism is ok) has 50% chance of making you confused, stunned, and vomiting for 1d14 turns.
Tripe rations are much more useful in the early game, for stealing when money is scarce and for pacifying/taming hostile domestic animals (who can pack quite a punch early on) without wasting more dependable sources of nutrition. Already tame cats or dogs, however, will devour a tripe ration on sight, so it makes sense to grab any you see lying around quickly before your pet can get to it. Specifically, entering a shop before your pet does can be useful: even if you don't have the money to buy the tripe, you can still pick it up and drop it - what is important is that you've recently handled the tripe (for more information see the article on apport).
Later game, keeping one tripe ration in your inventory can still be useful for enticing your pet to stick close by. Additionally, tripe, like eggs, can be useful as a source of confusion for fooproofing weapons and armor.
If you start from scratch, cooking tripe is a long-drawn-out
affair. Fresh whole tripe calls for a minimum of 12 hours of
cooking, some time-honored recipes demanding as much as 24.
To prepare fresh tripe, trim if necessary. Wash it thoroughly,
soaking overnight, and blanch, for 1/2 hour in salted water.
Wash well again, drain and cut for cooking. When cooked, the
texture of tripe should be like that of soft gristle. More
often, alas, because the heat has not been kept low enough,
it has the consistency of wet shoe leather.