Pigs first arrived in
the United States when
Hernando de Soto brought
13 hogs to Florida in 1539.
They soon became an Amer-ican
staple. They are easy to
raise and care for and are
very versatile. Virtually every
part of the animal yielded
something that could be
They offer choice cuts of meat on the upper flanks — if you could afford them
you were living “high on the hog.”
Pig feet were, literally and figuratively, low on the hog. They are primarily
succulent fat and cartilage. Because of the connective tissue and thick skin, they
are best cooked slowly over low heat. Common techniques include boiling and
braising. They can be used as a stand-alone dish, or in stocks and sauces.
They have become a trendy food in some parts of the world as an anti-aging food
because they are rich in collagen.
WBM september 2020
Head back to the American South for this
popular dish. Livermush, or liver pudding, is
made with pig liver, parts of pig heads, cornmeal
and spices. It’s typically sold in loaves, fried up
and served for breakfast. It originated in rural
western North Carolina, where it was a cheap,
filling food popular with workers in textile mills
and furniture factories. There are annual liver-mush
festivals in Shelby and Marion.
Livermush is very much a regional food, but
the principle of combining leftover animal parts
with a binding agent is seen around the world in
various types of sausage.
Oxtail is somewhat of a misnomer. It originally
referred to the tail of a steer. Now it’s a generic
name for the tail of cattle. An oxtail typically
weighs about 7 pounds. It is skinned and cut into
Because of the high fat content and long cook-ing
times, oxtails once were eaten mainly by poor
people and were inexpensive and plentiful. But
prices went up as chefs began using the flavorful,
gelatin-rich meat in soups and stocks.
Pig feet, brought to Florida in 1539, became an American staple.