[Sca-cooks] Please Define Trotter

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Jun 7 08:06:43 PDT 2009

On Jun 6, 2009, at 3:03 PM, Suey wrote:

> Dictionaries define trotter as pig or lamb's feet. In the slaughter  
> I refer to the hooves, not feet when the slaughter man is shopping  
> up this area. He gives me what I call trotters, the area he chops  
> off with a hatchet between the hoof and the lower joint of the leg.  
> How would you properly define trotter?
> Suey

In the case of pigs, the trotter is usually the hind foot (the front  
feet in English are sometimes referred to in 17th, 18th and 19th  
century recipes as petitoes, and are regarded as more delicate and, I  
suspect, cut off shorter).

In the US they are generally sold with the horny hoof material removed  
(possibly blanched or scalded), but with the toes otherwise intact. In  
generic "non-ethnic" supermarkets (not that Ward and June Cleaver are  
buying too many pigs' feet in any case), they tend to be cut off  
pretty short, with most or all of the hock or shank sold separately.  
In Chinese or Italian markets (and for all I know, others) it's  
possible to find them with a very long shank section attached, with  
plenty of muscle meat and the option to debone and stuff them.

I believe I've heard of the term "petitoes" used in connection with  
lamb and pigs, but not with sheep, so maybe in some cases trotters is  
used as a generic term for all feet, and in other cases, not.


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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