WRAL.com at the State Fair

Taste Test: collard and chitlin sandwich

Posted October 21, 2009

I saw the two signs as I was walking down the main road from the Scott Building to Dorton Arena. They were both on a food both near the Scott Building. The first one was on the front of the booth and read "CHITLINS * SIDE MEAT * COLLARDS * SLAW * HUSH PUPPIES." The second one was on a small whiteboard in the booth and  read "Chitlin / Collard Sandwich," which I interpreted to mean, well, a chitlin and collard sandwich!

(For those of you not from around here, chitlins are -- well, let's call them pig intestines and leave it at that. )

I had vague memories of a recent festival where collards were served on a sandwich made with corn pone, and thought it might be something like that. I love corn pone. (Um, again for those of you not from around here, corn pone is corn meal, salt, and water mixed up and baked or fried.)

"Hm," I thought, "That sounds like it might be interesting. I certainly like collards." So as we wandered around the fair I kept that in mind, and when it was time for lunch, I walked back to the booth and confidently said, "I'd like a chitlin and collard sandwich please."

And the nice lady behind the counter looked at me like I was nuts. "A what?"

I pointed at the small sign. "Doesn't that say chitlin and collard sandwich?"

Another lady behind the counter said, "Well, I guess we can put them on a sandwich. We can put them on a hamburger bun." Apparently the small sign didn't mean what I thought it meant.

I sighed for my nonexistent corn pone and said, "Okay." And a few minutes and $6 later I had a chitlin and collard sandwich. As you'll see from the picture, mostly collard. Which is okay because I love collards even more than I love corn pone.

The chitlins, though -- I had not had chitlins in a very very long time, and there was something I had forgotten about them. They have a smell. And while they taste okay it can be a little hard to get past the smell if you find it unpleasant.

These chitlins were really really spiced. A little too spiced for my taste. The collards were good but strangely they were not spiced enough for my taste; I'm used to eating collards with plenty of hot pepper vinegar.

Chitlins and collards, in case you were wondering, don't provide a proper infrastructure for a sandwich. I gave up on trying to eat it like a sandwich and attacked it with a fork instead.

The collards on the bread were pretty good. I think I might actually get this again if I can get some vinegar to go on it (or maybe some brown mustard, I bet that would be good), and skip the chitlins as too spicy. Then it'll just be a collard sandwich. Certainly a lot better for me! Now if I can just find someone on the fairgrounds who's selling corn pone...

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  • Funky Neighbor LEE Oct 22, 2009

    Try riding something after eating that .

  • TheDude abides... Oct 22, 2009

    The smell is at its worse when chitlins are being cooked. If you can get em already cooked from someone else's kitchen, you will be grateful, believe me. After they have cooled, you can warm them up and they dont smell so strong.

    My grandma used to play a mean trick on us when she cooked chitlins. She would fry them (not boil, yuck)in a pan and secretly mix in about half a handful of cracked corn. She always relished seeing our expressions when we unsupectingly bit into a piece of corn.

    For those of you who dont know, cracked corn is used for hog feed.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Oct 22, 2009

    I love collards, but...PASS!!