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how do you eat whole pig's feet?

I was recently confronted with this problem at my regular vietnamese spot. It was in my soup bowl, perched on top, clearly the "special" part of the otherwise delicious special: a whole pig's foot. I think it was pig. I considered the possibility that it was just another collagen-rich soup bone that had accidentally slipped into my bowl, but every bowl of that special I have ordered (and there have been many, because it's freaking addictively delicious) has contained a foot, sitting proudly atop a little hillock of melty brisket and fat noodles.

I'm not averse. Just virginal.

So please help:

- How do you eat a whole pig's foot? Do you just pick it up and gnaw on it? The thick rubbery skin resisted my efforts, and the rest seemed like just fat barely cushioning trotter bones. I poked into the severed end for marrow with my chopstick without much luck. What part should I eat and what toss aside?

- How do you eat a whole pig's foot with chopsticks?

Thanks!

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  1. "How do you eat a whole pig's foot with chopsticks?"

    quite possibly the best, and funniest mental image i've had all day. :)

    and i have NO idea.

    1. When I have encountered it in pozole and menudo, its usually been tender enough to tear in the soup to pieces for the outer meat. The leftover collagen or marrow you pick up and eat or I put it into a tortilla with salsa.

      The city of Guadalajara is famous for tostadas de pata or pigs feet tostadas. Usually the meat is chopped into dice for you but at this restaurant near the Refugio this past summer I was given the whole thing! http://flickr.com/photos/xguadalajara...

      1. Go primordial.

        Pick it up with your hands, tear it apart with your fingers, gnaw at it with your teeth and suck it clean with your mouth.

        Bring a bib if you prefer, or use a makes-shift one with napkins if you must, but whatever you do don't be shy. Attack it like a steaklover would a prime ribeye after a month on a a vegetarian fast, er, I mean, uh, vegetarian diet.

        1. I eat congealed pigs foot from time to time and I don't eat it with chopsticks (even though it is korean). I just pull it apart with my hands and eat the toes one by one and then eat the rest. Tasty stuff

          1. I've never had one like this, but used to eat pickled pigs feet all the time as a kid. Just pick it up and start eating it.