Chitterlings are sold at retail stores such as Wal-Mart and ShopRite and are purchased in plastic tubs or sealed plastic bags. Stores sell uncooked and cooked chitterlings made by food manufacturers. Pork chitterlings are usually pre-handled at food processing plants to ensure cleanliness and safety for home cooking.
People who want to prepare homemade chitterlings can use the chitterlings recipe featured at Epicurious.com. Ingredients include 5 pounds of pre-cooked chitterlings, 3 cups water, 1/2 cup vinegar, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce and 2 teaspoons hot sauce. Wash packaged sauce off of the chitterlings, if necessary, and place them into a large pot with all of the ingredients. Slowly bring the chitterlings to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for one hour, stirring every so often. Chitterlings are done when they cut easily with a fork.
Chitterlings are a popular Southern dish created by African-American slaves who needed to make pork intestines palatable to eat. Pork intestines are difficult to clean and have a strong odor, which is why many people only eat them during cooler months. The strong odor is minimized in various ways, including cooking chitterlings with cinnamon, onions or potatoes. It is best to eat chitterlings in moderation, because pork intestines are high in fat and cholesterol.