rock tripe

rock tripe

noun
any lichen of the genus Umbilicaria.
Also called tripe-de-roche.


Origin:
1850–55; allegedly so called in reference to the appearance of the thallus

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World English Dictionary
rock tripe
 
n
(Canadian) any of various edible lichens, esp of the genus Umbilicaria, that grow on rocks and are used in the North as a survival food

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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rock tripe

lichen of the genus Umbilicaria, sometimes used as emergency food by soldiers or explorers. It contains about one-third more calories than equal amounts of honey, corn flakes, or hominy; however, this lichen cannot seriously be considered as a food crop because of its slow growth rate. Rock tripe was boiled by Washington's troops at Valley Forge. In Japan U. esculenta, called "iwa-take," or "rock mushroom," is sold as a delicacy and eaten in salads or fried in deep fat. Species of rock tripe are also used as dyes.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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