Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ye Olde Pig's Foot

Close your eyes. Now picture your holiday table laden with a scrumptious feast. What do you see? Turkey? Ham? Latkes? Your great aunt's marshmallow yam casserole? Okay, now feast your eyes on this:

Look closely. Yes, nestled on a bed of lentils is...a pig's foot. Complete with manicured toenails, it appears. Zampone is typical fare during the holiday season in Italy, and it's most common on New Year's Eve. The lentils are thought to bring luck. Not to the pig, apparently.

I've tasted this, and actually it's quite good. But it's only good if you're not staring at the actual pig's foot while you eat. I know, I'm a hypocritical carnivore--I love eating meat, I just don't want to be reminded what it looked like before it came to my plate. If you'd like to surprise your family this holiday season, click here for cooking instructions. Although you might want to have them taste it first before you reveal what it is.
Buon Appetito!


Barbara Y said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara Y said...

Sorry, I had to delete my original comment because the link didn't work.

I read the recipe and, well, that's not so bad. It's not a pig's foot with meat and bones. It's a pig-foot-shaped sausage! Actually, it sounds very tasty. It reminds me of kiske, one of my favorite childhood foods.I could get my friends to try it, but only if I didn't mention the cow-intestine casing.

rilla said...

Hey Natalie,
Love the pig's foot. We have a breakfast delicacy in Hyderabad called Nihari and it is goats' tongues and feet in a very spicy curry and it is very good... but no... I will not be serving it up for Christmas!
Saw this in the Writer's Almanac and thought of you...

It's the birthday of writer Italo Svevo, (books by this author)born in Trieste, Italy (1861). He was a closet writer who worked as a bank clerk and then got a job in his father-in-law's paint-making plant. When Svevo decided to take some English classes for business reasons, the tutor that he found turned out to be aspiring writer James Joyce, who was living in Trieste at the time. Svevo confessed to Joyce that he had written two failed novels, and after reading them, Joyce told Svevo that he was a neglected genius. Svevo was inspired to write a fictional memoir about a patient undergoing psychoanalysis, which took him 10 years to finish. His self-published book The Confessions of Zeno (1923) is considered one of the greatest Italian novels of the 20th century.

Natalie said...

You're right, Barbara--the pig's foot is more like a purse that holds the mashed meat mixture. I know my vegetarian friends out there must be cringing (Hi Karen and Garry!). Cow-intestine casing? You're right to keep that little detail from your friends. :-)

Hi Rilla!
It makes you wonder who ever thought: "Hmmm, I'll bet goat's tongue would be delicious." And it is--who knew?

Thanks for the Italo Svevo link--he's a big literary figure here in Trieste. I hope it doesn't take you and me ten years to get published!

ecm said...

Well, as they say in advertising: "Sex sells!" And that's one sexy pig leg/foot! LOL Hey, I'm with you on NOT wanting chew meet AND be reminded of it's original persona--nails intact and all! When I toured w/ my group in Taiwan, I was a total wimp when it came to trying out their delicacy: chicken feet with nails, of course!

Edna ;-)

Julie_c said...

Um...yum? I think I'll stick to turkey.

Natalie said...

Hi Edna! What is it with animals' feet? That would be (one of) the last parts of the animal that I would think to eat! Hope your Hawaiian Christmas was a happy one!

Julie--I'm with you on the turkey! Gobble, gobble. :-)