||The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2010)|
Chitterlings (pron.: //; sometimes spelled as pronounced: chitlins or chittlins) are the intestines of a pig, although cattle and other animals' intestines are similarly used, that have been prepared as food. In various countries across the world, such food is prepared and eaten either as part of a daily diet, or at special events, holidays or religious festivities.
Chitterling is a Middle English (1000-1400 AD) word for the small intestines of pigs, especially as they are fried or steamed for food. A 1743 English cookery book The Lady's Companion: or, An Infallible Guide to the Fair Sex contained a recipe for 'Calf's Chitterlings', and so the term 'chitterling' could be applied to any intestine, not just those of pigs. The recipe explained the use of calf's intestines in the recipe, which was similar to black pudding (the intestines were stuffed) with the comment that "these sort of ... puddings must be made in summer, when hogs are seldom killed." This recipe was repeated by the English cookery writer Hannah Glasse in her 1784 cookery book Art of Cookery.
Distribution, different traditions 
As pigs are a common source of meat in many parts of the world, the dish known as chitterlings can be found in most pork eating cultures, as well as in dog eating cultures. Chitterlings made from pig intestines are popular in many parts of Europe, where they are also used as casing for sausages. Chitterlings made from pigs are still occasionally eaten in the southern US. Consumption of chitterlings is uncommon today in the developed world, and is usually associated with poverty. Thomas Hardy wrote of chitterlings in his novel Tess of the D'Urbervilles, when the father of a poor family John Durbeyfield talks of what he would like to eat:
The Balkans, Greece, and Turkey 
Kokoretsi, kukurec, or kokoreç, are usually prepared and stuffed then grilled on a spit. In Greece and Muslim countries like Turkey, lamb intestines are widely used. In Anatolia the intestines can be chopped and cooked with oregano, peppers, and other spices.
Gallinejas are a traditional dish in Madrid. The dish consists of sheep's small intestines, spleen, and pancreas, fried in their own grease in such a manner that they form small spirals. The dish is served hot immediately after preparation, and is often accompanied by french fries. Few establishments today serve gallinejas, as it is considered to be more of a delicacy than a common dish. It is most commonly found served during festivals.
Zarajos: A traditional dish from Cuenca is zarajos, which are simply sheep's intestines rolled on a vine branch and usually broiled, but also sometimes fried. They are usually served hot, as an appetizer or tapa. A similar dish from La Rioja is embuchados, and from the province of Aragon, madejas, all made with sheep's intestines and serves as tapas.
Tricandilles are a traditional dish in Gironde. They are made of pig's small intestines, boiled in bouillon then grilled on a fire of grapevine cane. It is considered an expensive delicacy.
Latin America 
Chinchulín (in Argentina and Uruguay) or chunchule (in Chile) (from the Quechua ch'unchul, meaning "intestine") is a dish made from the cow's small intestine. Other name variations from country to country are caldo avá (Paraguay), choncholi (Peru), chunchullo, chinchurria or chunchurria (Colombia), chinchurria (Venezuela), tripa mishqui (Ecuador) and tripa (Mexico).
Chitterlings are also eaten as a dish in many East Asian cuisines.
In the Philippines, pig intestines (Filipino: bituka ng baboy) are used in dishes such as dinuguan (pig blood stew). Grilled intestines are known as isaw and eaten as street food. Chicken intestines (isaw ng manok, compared to isaw ng baboy) are also used. Pig intestines are also prepared in a similar manner to pork rinds, known locally as chicharon. Two distinct types of these are called chicharon bituka and chicharon bulaklak, differing in the part of the intestine used.
In Korea, chitterlings (Gop-Chang) are grilled or used for stews (Jun-Gol) in Korea. When they are grilled, they are often accompanied by various seasonings and lettuce leaves (to wrap). Stew is cooked with various vegetables and seasonings.
United States 
Chitterlings are carefully cleaned and rinsed several times before they are boiled or stewed for several hours. A common practice is to place a halved onion in the pot to mitigate what many regard as a very unpleasant odor that can be particularly strong when the chitterlings begin to cook. Chitterlings sometimes are battered and fried after the stewing process and commonly are served with cider vinegar and hot sauce as condiments.
In colonial times, hogs were slaughtered in December. During slavery, in order to maximize profits, slave owners commonly fed their slaves in the cheapest manner possible. At hog butchering time, the preferred cuts of meat were reserved for the master's use. The remains, such as fatback, snouts, ears, neck bones, feet, and intestines were given to the slaves for their consumption.
In 2003, the Smithsonian Institution's Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture accepted the papers of Shauna Anderson and her business, The Chitlin Market, as part of its emerging collection of materials about African American celebrations, foods and foodways.
Food safety caution 
Care must be taken when preparing chitterlings, due to the possibility of disease being spread when they have not been cleaned or cooked properly. These diseases and bacteria include E. coli and Yersinia enterocolitica, as well as Salmonella. Chitterlings must be soaked and rinsed thoroughly in several different cycles of cool water, and repeatedly picked clean by hand, removing extra fat, undigested food, and specks of feces. The chitterlings are turned inside out, cleaned and boiled, sometimes in baking soda and/or salt, and the water is discarded. The chitterlings can then be used in a recipe.
See also 
- Oxford English Dictionary entry
- The Lady's Companion: or, An Infallible Guide to the Fair Sex (1743) T. Read, London, Digitized by Google Books 
- The Lady's Companuion p. 310 – Chitterlings
- Hannah Glasse (1784) The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy
- "Kokorec Recipe". grouprecipes.com. Retrieved 2011-04-27.
- "Fried Chitterlings (Chitlins) and Hog Maws". The Chitterling Site. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
- History of Chitterlings in the United States by Linda Stradley
- Caution in Preparing Chitterlings from the State of Georgia Division of Public Health
- Loved and reviled, chitterlings are the ultimate in soul food by LaMont Jones for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
- Shauna Anderson's Chitlin Market inducted into Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History, April 22, 2003. Cf. Shauna Anderson website.
- Chitlin' Strut Yearly festival in Salley, South Carolina, United States celebrating the dish.