“You heard it here first,” my mother-in-law told me over the phone yesterday from England. “Pigs’ feet are the new superfood.” She went on to recite to me some passages from the Daily Telegraph article she was reading about a new restaurant in New York at which 33 of the 39 dishes on offer contain pigs’ feet.
Apparently they are rich in collagen, the protein responsible for skin and muscle tone. We’ve all seen beauty products labeled as containing collagen, and we’ve heard about the popularity of collagen injections to treat facial creases, so if you can get the stuff from eating pigs’ feet, or trotters, why not do that instead?
Himi Okajima, the owner of the restaurant, called Hakata Tonton, would love that: He owns a chain of restaurants specializing in “collagen cuisine” in Japan. “Your hair and skin will look better. If you begin eating collagen in your thirties, you will look younger in your forties.”
Sounds easy enough. But how does it taste? I’ve never tried it, but reviews I checked on line varied from an enthusiastic “yummy” to a less certain “gelatinous.” Either way, apparently there’s a real skill to properly cooking trotters (or, in Japanese, “tonsoku”). Said celebrity chef Anthonly Bourdain: “Any schmo can grill a fancy steak, but it takes a cook to transform a humble pig’s foot into something people clamor for.”
Even more reason to give it a try if the collagen it contains is indeed the secret to youthful skin. Personally, I’d find that far more appetizing than having it injected.