Editor's note: Occasionally what looks at first glance to be a conventional guidebook transcends the genre in surprising ways. John T. Edge's Southern Belly is just such a read, which is why I'm pleased that he has allowed us to excerpt selected items from it on Serious Eats, where they appear every other week. --Ed Levine
By John T. Edge | Shauna Anderson wants to be your chitlin vendor of choice. "Selling chitlins is all about trust," she tells me when I visit the suburban Cape Cod home she has transformed into a combination restaurant and commissary for chitlin deliveries. "Chitlins are very personal. A good cook knows that clean chitlins are where it all starts," she says of the laborious process of scouring pig intestines, a skill she learned from her grandmother.
Anderson opened her chitlin business in 1995. At the time, she was working as an accountant. Her idea was simple. Cleaned chitlins were hard to come by. And tax season only lasted a few months. She would clean chitlins during her downtime. It was an idea whose time had evidently come, for consumers, wary of the tlow-rent white buckets of chitlins available at traditional groceries, bought every hog intestine that Anderson and her compatriots could clean.