Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Popularity of Pig Feet


This is a new one on me. I know people love their pig. Give them bacon, pork chops, sausage and bellies but I didn't know pig feet were quite so beloved.  But I know now.  I did a piece on the wonderful Taste Harlem Food Tour for Relish Magazine and it came out last week.  I wrote the article on the details of the three-hour, high energy tour which serves up heaping doses of Harlem food and culture in the form of soul food dishes, Dominican delicacies and Senegalese samplings. In between the food, owner Jackie Orange illustrates with historical tidbits and cultural facts. Well, the story was severely edited, focusing on Jackie's favorite Harlem food fact, which happens to be Pig Foot Mary. 

 A legendary Harlem figure,  Pig Foot Mary's real name was Lillian Harris and she migrated from the Mississippi Delta to New York in 1901. She sold pig feet from an old baby buggy to Southern -born Harlemnites until she had acquired enough money to amass a fortune in New York and California real estate. By the time of her death in 1928, she had real estate holdings worth $375,000.  It seems that that little mention has unleashed a longing for pig feet from all over the country. Jackie has been fielding calls from radio show hosts wanting to discuss the particulars of pig feet, people wanting to know how many pig feet dishes her tour features and Southerners wanting to know how different New York pig feet are from theirs.  Now, Jackie is considering creating a tour specifically to serve this lust for pig feet. Who knew pig feet were so darn popular?

12 comments:

Roschelle said...

OMG! haven't seen this horror in years. my mother and grandmother used to love pickled pig's feet.

i must sadly admit i've eaten them...

eden said...

In the Philippines we cook pig's feet. We cook it for soup or stew. Here in Australia most of the butcher shops especially Chinese are selling them and sometimes I grab a kilo for my soup with lots of vegetables. I am the only who eat pig's feet in my family. My kids and hubby can't dare to eat it.

Fly Girl said...

Roschelle, I know pigs feet is a southern staple and most families serve some form of it. I was always a persnickety eater so I have never tried it and seeing this photo, I never will!

Eden, I know pigs feet are popular throughout Asia. Growing up with something helps make it edible but I can't say I blame your hubby and kids.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I think this is one taste I will have to give a wide berth.

Fly Girl said...

Jean-Luc, I totally understand!

Heather Dugan (Footsteps) said...

A small western US town used to give visitors a jar of pickled pigs' feet. Our family received one en route to Canada or Alaska and the sealed and forever unopened jar made the journey with us.

Last week while running a road in Vieques, I came upon a roadside pig preparation just as the men were removing the hooves. Still shivering over that one!!

Fly Girl said...

Heather, pig feet gifts! roadside pig! I shudder as well.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I'm thinking, personally, I'd rather *not* go on a pigs-feet tour. But what do I know?!

Fly Girl said...

Rachel, I'm thinking the same thing but we're not in the pigs feet lovers category.

Mary said...

Fly girl,
Pig's feet are huge in Okinawa! Not only are they considered delicious, but they are supposed to make you beautiful too! Something about collagen...

Fly Girl said...

Mary, Okay! A pig feet beauty benefit! It still won't make me try it but it's an interesting point.

Cate said...

If you make it to South Korea you will see pig faces on sale at markets.Pig feet I have tried years ago and on one alcohol induced evening I unknowingly tried grilled pigs intestines. What is with the pig... A very interesting post and thanks for sharing it.