China Groceries: Pigs Feet. This week on China Groceries – the cut of meat used in various dishes around the world. Even though this cut of pork is consumed all over the world, I have never seen as many pig’s feet as I have since moving to Asia, and China in particular.
In China, Pig’s feet are said to strengthen women’s bodies after childbirth. They are often stewed into a soup that the postnatal women is supposed to drink regularly. This dish is, however, considered too strong for children. Pig feet are super rich in collagen, the protein responsible for skin and muscle tone. Chinese people love pig’s feet in almost all preparations, whether in simple, homey braised dishes or fancier ones where the bones are removed and the ingredients are pressed into a jelly-like terrine. Check out this link to see 10 Ways to Eat Pig’s Feet. Pig’s feet do not appeal to all people and are considered an acquired taste.
For centuries, the less desirable parts of a pig were usually eaten by poor people because they were the parts of the pig that more affluent people would not touch. After a pig was butchered and patrons selected chops, roasts and ground meat to make sausage, the remaining parts of the pig were either thrown away or sold to poorer patrons for less money. Among these parts were the pig’s ears, snout, tail and feet. As people became more affluent, pig’s feet remained a part of a culture’s cuisine, partly because of desire and also as a way for people to remain connected to their roots. All this is true for Western countries, but here in China, eating pig’s feet has never “gone out of style” and I doubt that it ever will.