Chitlins and cracklins have been popular in the South for many years. Supposedly, they became popular when poor Southerners had to use every scrap of available food in order to have anything at all to eat. Anyone lucky enough to have a pig took great effort to avoid wasting any portion of it. Thus, everything was eaten; feet, ears, skin, intestines...it all wound up on the table.
Chitlins are pig intestines and stomach. Chitlins are also called Chitterlings and you may see them labeled that way in grocery stores. We use the terms "chitlins" on this web site. They are generally boiled or fried and while they may not sound appetizing, if you have never tried them they are quite tasty. Chitlins are typically served as a side dish.
It is very important to thoroughly wash chitlins prior to cooking. While it is a time consuming process, it is not difficult.
1. Soak your pork chitlins in cold water for 15 minutes.
2. Using your hands, one by one gently roll the chitlins open in your hands. Use a knife and your fingers to remove any remaining fat or foreign matter from inside the chitlins.
3. Place the chitlins in a large pot of plain water and bring to a rolling boil. Then remove from heat immediately.
4. Pour the chitlins into a strainer and run cold water over them.
5. Repeat the cleaning process in step two again.
Here's our FRIED CHITLINS RECIPE
Cracklins are made from pork fat. Cracklins may be used as a side dish, appetizer or in cooking. Here's our CRACKLINS RECIPE.
And here's our CRACKLIN CORNBREAD RECIPE
So, if you have never tried chitlins or cracklins, give'em a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.