Pickled Pig Skins
These can be very good - or very bad. Good ones are thick and firm like those
in the photo, pickled in a moderate vinegar broth. If they are soft and
mushy they are terrible, and some are too strong on the vinegar. Some produced
here in Los Angeles by ethnic Mexican producers can be excellent, but even
they can screw up a batch now and then. Those in the photo were by Faraon,
a reliable ethnic distributor here in Los Angeles.
Rolls of pig skin are easily available in any market that serves a
significant Mexican community, but pickling them is tricky, and you need some
potassium nitrate (saltpeter). Of course we have a successful recipe for
Pickled Pig Skins.
Pickled Pig Feet
Feet are the best known pickled pig part, enjoyed throughout the world (except,
of course, in Israel and the Muslim regions). In times past, any reputable
American meat market had a huge jar of pickled pig feet on display, and that's
how they're best (or, make your own). Put up in jars, those from
major brands can be really awful, mushy, acrid and greasy, but
some Mexican ethnic brands are pretty decent. In my vegetarian days, I'd
occasionally weaken and succumb to the lure of a jar of pickled pig feet.
The photo specimens were pickled using our recipe
Pickled Pig Feet #2.
Pickled Pig Snouts
This is one pickled pig part I haven't found commercially in Los Angeles,
but the Asian markets here are well stocked with fresh pig snouts so you
can make your own. In some pig producing regions they are a minor commercial
item, carefully packed in jars with their noses pressed to the glass. The
photo specimen is one I pickled myself. They're trickier to get right than
pig feet, but not nearly as tricky as pig skins. They are much less messy
to eat than Pig Feet. Here's our recipe for
Pickled Pig Snouts.
Pickled Pig Ear Strips
Pig ears have a unique texture - a thin crunchy cartilage core with thick
skin layers on both sides. The flavor is also unique. I have purchased
commercially packed jars here in Los Angeles, but they were just too awful
to eat. I have developed my own recipe which produces a very enjoyable
product. Here it is:
Pickled Pig Ear Strips.
Pickled Pork Hocks
Time was when every self respecting beer bar had a big jar of pickled eggs
and one of pickled pork hocks on display. Patrons could order by the piece,
but I haven't seen this in recent times. Hocks are easier to eat than feet
and have a considerably different flavor because they are much meatier.
Recipe coming soon.
Pickled Pork Hocks.