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Sep 18, 2006 05:26 PM

To Crunch or Not to Crunch -- Edible Cartilage

The topic on eating skins got me thinking... friends/family that I chow with on a frequent basis know I LOVE to munch on cartilage -- to the point that they will sometimes reserve the pieces for me, although my Mom always worries that someday I'll come up against a piece that is tougher than my molar. I'll happily gnaw on soup bones to get the bits of jelly-like cartilage, I've trained my tongue to make me the "cleanest" eater at the table when we have chicken/duck (every joint gets seperated out in my mouth so I get the bit of cartilage prior to the bone landing on my plate - bone gets picked clean as a whistle), I'll even crunch on the white cartilage pieces in black bean spareribs, chaa siu, etc.

Just wondering if fellow Chowhounds have similar habits?

And for the folks who dine with people doing this, is it annoying, or disgusting?

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  1. I love cartilage. Mrs. ricepad usually gives me her chicken chicken bones or rib bones so I can gnaw every last morsel. She'll only deny me her beef rib bones because she wants the dog to have a little, too.

    1. Cartilage is yummy. There's nothing like a good pork ear. Or duck's tongue. Or chicken wing off a well roasted bird.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Pei

        yum ... all that is left when I dig into a pile of duck tongue is a lil itty bitty stub of bone. And yes, definitely pig's ear too -- I once watched an episode of Fear Factor in which the contestants had to eat boiled pork ear; I told my friends at the time that I could win that round hands down, especially if they had soy sauce on the table (and not for steamed rice).

        1. re: S U

          just had duck tongue for lunch... and not the tongue by itself either. it was still attached to a good chunk of the duck; i think the jawbone-like part that was seperated from the rest of the bill (never majored in anatomy) and i even cracked open that jawbone for the thin strip of ligament/cartilage inside.

          and in response to mielimato below, yes amaebi heads and shell-on salt & pepper shrimp...

      2. I didn't realize that I was eating way too much of my buffalo wings till I started looking at the remains of my friend's wings. They're leaving meat on there, certainly not crunching of the end and sucking the marrow.

        1 Reply
        1. re: amkirkland

          You're not eating too much, they're eating too little, and wasting some of the best part!

        2. I give my bones to my BF who gleefully eats the whle thing. I had never seen anyone do this until we started are not alone :)

          1. Definitely to crunch. Besides being tasty, cartilage is full of calcium.