From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Food and drink (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Food and drink, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of food and drink related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.

Chitlins are eaten in other countries as well. In southern China, I had the best chitlins I've ever eaten served with greens and liver. Chinese chitlins need mentioning.Onionhound 11:28, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Why doesn't anyone mention the SMELL?--The dez 08:39, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

What about the smell? Bastie 05:19, 6 May 2006 (UTC)
Unless thoroughly pre-cooked (for a whole day), chitlins smell rather awful in the cooking pot. Southern folk wisdom says throwing in an apple or a potato helps absorb the odors. 04:30, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

Amen to that.

For the smell-Chitlings smell like shit. People have constantly said that. And I edited the portions for the US, it's not just the "Deep South" it's areas where black people live, geography doesn't matter there. I'm black and know that -SWF

In the History section, the sentence: "Because of the West African tradition of cooking all edible parts of plants and animals, these foods helped the slaves survive in the United States.", appears verbatim on this web site:

Hmm, are 'Chitterlings' actually the same as 'Chitlings'?[edit]

Chitterlings as I understood it are similar to what are called 'Scratchings' or 'Pork Rinds' not intestines. I made the mistake of typing 'Chitlings' and this certainly wasn't the same thing as I encountered. Le Gibbon (talk) 04:42, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

They are indeed one in the same. Check out this for another source for definitions and alternate spellings.[1] τßōиЄ2001 (ǂ ) 04:50, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
no, you ain't correct. Chitlins is the intestine and pork rins is the skin. sorry —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:52, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Small or large intestines?[edit]

Can it be added in this article whether the small intestines, large intestines, or both are used in this dish? Badagnani (talk) 00:20, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

"commonly eaten in the southern United States"?[edit]

I think that statement misleadingly implies most people in the south eat them, which being from the south I can say is not the case. (Most people here I've met are even reluctant to try them.) (talk) 16:47, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

It's not that most southerners eat them, it is that it is more common for people in the south to eat them. Rifter0x0000 (talk) 12:02, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Folk History[edit]

This article all too often succumbs to the "Gone with the Wind" school of American history, in which the Antebellum South is divided into rich white plantation owners and poor black slaves. It's a very strange thing, but you see it all over. I have no doubt that, on plantations owned by rich white people, chitterlings and snoots and trotters were food for the slaves, but that's because such things are "poor" food, not "black" food. Romantic stories about "enterprising slaves" digging chitterlings out of the garbage are about as reliable as the folk histories every old white family has about burying the silver in the garden to hide it from the Yankees. Look at any old "white folks" cookbook--look at the old editions of "The Joy of Cooking"--and you'll find the praises of chitterlings sung. And as for the line about rich white folks "consider[ing] pig innards offal"--someone is a bit confused. Innards are offal--that's what the word means. It doesn't mean "bad" or "inedible," even though it sounds like the word "awful."

Offal comes from out fall. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:15, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

This article is rife with folk history and poor understanding of terminology, and is written to a fairly low standard. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:42, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

Very much agreed! This article is not written or researched very well. I lived in the south for decades and never heard the term "white trash food" to describe chittlins. Actually the only term i have ever heard for it was "soul food" but that term died in the 70's. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:51, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Why are chitterlings still consumed by blacks?[edit]

i work in a local grocery store. This past holiday season we had a number of requests for chitterlings (we don't sell them, but may next year). I'm really currious. Why would blacks want to consume something that had once been considered garbage? If I had been kept captive and fed pig guts, the last thing I'd want to do is continue the practice when released. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:47, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

People (not just blacks) are curious about what people in other times and cultures ate. Unusual foods can be conversation starters at parties. And some people just like the taste. There's three obvious reasons for your enlightenment. Now bag me some chitlins, punk! Magmagoblin (talk) 10:36, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

Many eat it since they were young for generations whereas many white people never ever eaten it. It's an acquired taste and because of that, Blacks are more commonly the main consumers. Yialanliu (talk) 00:32, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Worse yet, the citing of Trescott's work (Trescott, Jacqueline (April 25, 2003) i misleading. Pig intestines have been used to make sausages for centuries all over the world, including and especially Europe. It is a well known fact that is expressed earlier in the article. This quote may or may not be out of context for this reason, but it should be removed if only to avoid contradiction. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:50, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

Should be noted that chiitterlings, usually fried, are eaten by white southerners. Admittedly less frequently. For just one source- [[2]]. (talk) 22:16, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
As compared to white southern cooking, black southern cooking and the food of the African American Diaspora (aka "Soul Food") tends to be (a) spicier and (b) a bit more conservative, holding on to things like chitterlings, hog maws, and collard greens, which are becoming increasingly rare in white households outside of very rural areas. It's interesting to speculate on the reasons behind this conservatism, or perhaps we should say the willingness of southern whites to abandon a number of their traditional foods. But let's speculate over a plate of chitterlings! After all, if you've ever had a hot dog, you've already eaten every part of a pig... (talk) 00:03, 23 April 2012 (UTC)


Not crazy about the term. Can that be replaced?--Anna Frodesiak (talk) 14:01, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Other Regions[edit]

They are also a VERY popular dish in Chinese and some other Asian communities, both at home in Asia and around the world.

Usually prepared by washing very well and then slow cooking or pressure cooking and then slicing and eating or by a second cooking with various other ingredients to form a very tasty dish.

Both the large and small intestines are prepared in this manner.

Odour is reduced by using white pepper for some recipes. If prepared this way in the pressure cooker, the soup with Chinese cabbage added, is quite remarkable and tasty.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:45, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Eye Dialect[edit]

This article opens by noting that the alternate spellings "chitlins" and "chittlins" are in eye dialect. According to the article about said dialect, this would mean that these other names for chitterlings use "nonstandard spelling that implies a pronunciation of the given word that is actually standard, such as wimmin for women." However, these two terms are in fact not pronounced the same as the standard "chitterlings," and therefore are not in eye dialect, but are rather pronunciation spellings. Unlike eye dialect, which is "dialect to the eye rather than to the ear" (to quote the article again), the words "chitlins" and "chittlins" are aimed at the ear, as they accurately reflect a common pronunciation of the word "chitterlings" by communities in the American South. I'm pretty sure I have this right, so I'm going to go ahead and delete the reference to eye dialect. If I'm misunderstanding this, please let me know and explain to me what I've got wrong. --Danberbro (talk) 04:09, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

My question is: Why does the article read "sometimes pronounced chitlins" when, near as I can tell, that is the only pronunciation given? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:42, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
You mean "near as I can tell, in the United States, that is the only pronunciation given?" The US is not the world; the world is not the US; Wikipedia is an international encyclopaedia. Here in the UK at least, where the word originated, they are pronounced 'chitterlings'. (talk) 07:04, 27 June 2013 (UTC)


The article cites the Oxford English Dictionary for "Chitterling is a Middle English (1000-1400 AD) word". The earliest date in the OED is "c. 1400". I guess the 1000-1400 is meant to refer to the definition of Middle English, but it seems misleading.

?c1400 in J. Raine Hist. Dunelmensis Scriptores Tres (1839) 57 [Women quarrelling as they wash ‘inwards’ at the stream] Deinde solebamus crines evellere pungnis, cum cheterlingis et monifauldes mutuo nos cedere [= cædere]. c1440 Promp. Parv. 76 Chytyrlynge, scrutellum, scrutum.

Ranvaig (talk) 21:40, 5 August 2013 (UTC)


Someone added a reference to "dog eating cultures." I thought this was probably someone trying to troll/deface and it didn't have anything to do with chitterlings so I removed that. Rifter0x0000 (talk) 12:34, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Possible page move[edit]

Should this be moved to Intestine (food) or Intestine as food? If Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, English-speaking African nations etc. do not call it chitterlings, then maybe we should consider a page move. Thoughts? Oh, and "yuk!" Anna Frodesiak (talk) 23:58, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

I'm not sure why... per WP:ENGVAR, 1) if the concept predominates in certain varieties of English, use the variety of English which has the closest cultural ties to the concept and 2) If no variety of English predominates, then stick with what it was at first. Chitterlings (however it is pronounced or spelled) is the standard name for pig intestines wherever they are eaten, and I, and people who eat them, would also ask you to not cast aspersions based on your own personal tastes. --Jayron32 04:18, 20 November 2016 (UTC)
Hi Jayron32. Hmmmm, maybe you're right about the page move thing.
About casting aspersions, the only thing that should be cast is the intestines, into a deep hole. Oh, and then some cement should be cast over that. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 05:02, 20 November 2016 (UTC)