When you hear Chitlins, many people are averse against it. Some even regard it as disgusting.
But what if we tell you that internal organs are equally delicious like meat?
You can find Chitlins or Chitterlings in cultures and nationalities that eat pork. But it can be of any animal.
It is a common delicacy and a popular favorite for those who savor the internal organs of an animal.
What do Chitlins taste like? It has a unique flavor and may be off-putting for you when you try it for the first time.
But, it all depends on how well you cook your Chitlins.
What are Chitlins?
According to Wikipedia, Chitlins usually contain the small and large intestines of pork, beef, or any other animal.
Chitlins or chitterlings have a unique history. All countries have different types of preparing Chitlins, but the components are usually the same. Some of the popular ones are
- Chitlins in the United States contain pork intestines and pork rinds.
- Haggis in Scotland contains the heart, lungs, and liver of all animals, especially sheep.
- Tricandilles in France contain the tripe and intestines of pork.
- Gopchang in Korea contains the small intestines of beef with seasonal vegetables.
- Creole Chitterlings in the Caribbean that contains gizzard and Creole seasonings.
What Do Chitlins Taste Like? Do Chitlins Taste Good?
Chitlins are not for the faint-hearted. Their taste is quite unusual, that many do not know how to describe its taste.
Surprisingly, it has a mild flavor instead of a strong one.
Chitlins may give out a strong or pungent smell before you cook them. Because of that reason, many people are determined not to taste it even before others cook for them.
With the right amount of seasonings, Chitlins taste like any other delicious meat.
But, please be cautious. If your Chitlins give out a strong odor even after you cook it, this may indicate that you did not wash it properly. And it may not be safe to consume it anymore.
Since Chitlins are of various types of animal organs, the taste differs too.
The usual ingredients of Chitlins are intestines, heart, liver, lungs, spleen, and gizzard of pig, cow, sheep, chicken, or goat.
Usually, internal organs have a buttery texture if you cook it properly but it may become rubbery to taste if it is undercooked. Compared to meat, Chitlins have a ‘gamey’ flavor to them.
People who like to eat Chitlins regard it as soul food for them because it is a traditional food that their ancestors ate who were slaves in the earlier times.
Consuming Chitlins gave them a sense of linkage and upholding their ancestors’ only kind of food that was available to them during that time.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of Chitlins contain
- Around 90 % of Cholesterol
- Around 45 % of Saturated Fat
- Around 25 % of Fat
- Around 20 % of Protein
- Around 5 % of Iron, Calcium, Cobalamin, and Magnesium.
How to Cook Chitlins?
Before cooking your Chitlins, you need to prepare them in a hygienic way. Please ensure that children are protected and remain out of the kitchen.
The Food Safety Centre advises people to wash their hands and keep the surroundings clean constantly.
Also, do not let any part of the raw Chitlin touch your kitchen as it may contaminate that area.
Corey Williams from Yahoo Life advises her readers that you can either boil or fry your chitlins.
For boiling your Chitlins, you can put your choice of seasonings and boil them for at least a minimum of two hours in order to cook them properly.
If you plan to fry your Chitlins, please ensure that you first boil them properly. After that, you can fry them until they are crispy.
Please be careful when you consume Chitlins as they contain many food-borne illnesses.
If you prepare Chitlins at home, it may not prove to be a threat, but if you consume from a restaurant, you will not know how the cooks prepare it.
According to Forages, University of Georgia, sometimes, Chitlin is prepared so unhygienically that it cause Yersinia enterocolitica.
It can cause stomach aches, diarrhea, and fever. Children are more prone to Yersinia than adults.
It is nice to give your taste buds a change of direction. Granted, Chitlins really smell bad before you cook it, but with the right kind of seasoning and careful cooking, it can turn out very good.
Eating them for the first time may be a big step for you, but we assure you that once you give Chitlins a chance in your palate, you will not regret eating it.