Not because that the faint of heart, pickled pig lips room a southern Louisiana dive bar delicacy through a generations-old ritual. In the recent "Eating in Bars," buy it Baird dishes on loving the gruesome snack and learning just how to eat the right.

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Every city has its own special odor of homegrown hip-hop, whether it’s tag teams of teens hocking tapes in a Walgreens parking many or regional legends blanketing the town v freshly inked flyers because that an upcoming residence party.

More than many cities, brand-new Orleans has a storied background of these community rap heroes cresting right into the nationwide spotlight. Culinary and drinking referrals abound in the lyrics of new Orleans-bred rappers—even Lil’ Wayne returns to his edible root from time come time, growling in a recent guest spot, “Damn where you stumble at? From where they do gumbo at?”

Pound because that pound, my favorite south Louisiana food-themed rap song pays tribute to a barroom favourite that regularly makes the uninitiated squirm: pickled pig lips.

Recorded in 2014 by the rappers VP and BreezyBe, “Pig lips, boudin and chips” is a blend of outlandish sex-related innuendo and bar food love letter that might only feather from the psychic of who hankering for both a loot call and also a drunk snack.

“Gotta gain some pig lips and chips! Pig lips and chips!” The song’s refrain bounces over and over as females in the track’s video pop and lock favor pros. “Gotta have some pig lips, beforehand in the morning,” VP spits, overall-clad with oversized, stack James shades ~ above his face. “Just to obtain my job started, gotta gain my chips up!”

Pickled pig commodities are huge business in a swath of the southern that follow me from Cajun country up through the Mississippi Delta, where any roadside bar or gas terminal that doesn’t have a watery gallon tub of ruby-hued pork commodities is an anomaly worthy of suspicion. The jars have often accumulated a fine film of dust on top, tucked far at the finish of the bar through a pair of tongs collection aside for fishing jowls, lips, feet and tails from their briny tank.

My an initial lips were carried in to Iggy’s by a patron known as miss out on Lula, that was constantly arriving with tubs of assorted sizes filled with oysters, chicken and also other leftover delicacies that dubious origin. 

First-timers always notification that the jar of pickled pig components is full of red liquid, i beg your pardon adds to the gruesome appeal, as many assume to it is in watered-down blood. It’s in reality a vinegary brining fluid that’s been, for part reason, tinged with Red Dye #40, a exercise that’s been typical for decades. The brine’s shade of red is a washed-out, downtrodden one that appears to have actually seen much better days — a type of poor man’s watercolor. For around a buck a pop, the meat pickle is an ext often 보다 not offered plunked down unceremoniously in a Styrofoam cup, leaking its vinegary trail follow me the bar. These room not bar snacks because that the faint of heart.

The pickled pig’s shade of red also holds a influential place in my family lore. Simply months after conference my mother, mine dad’s mommy attempted to “cure” her of vegetarianism by unfurling a spool that pickled ring bologna from one of these jars and waving that under she nose like smelling salts. No surprisingly, it had the the contrary effect. Yet when I began posting up frequently at the dingy bars where eating pickled pig is par because that the course, ns quickly found that i roundly appreciated pig parts’ complex textures and lip-puckering aftertaste, carrying on a household tradition (Hank Williams, Jr. Style) that just resides in mine father’s gene pool.

While pickled pig feet and tails will carry out in a pinch, it’s the lips that are the true southern Louisiana dive bar delicacy.

I an initial encountered pickled pig lips throughout a time i was watching one too many sunrises happen from a new Orleans dive bar called Iggy’s, the kind of location where the seemed completely natural to talk to an aging bartender named Trees around his gout, and also where it to be incredibly an overwhelming to tell that was the father and who was the kid in a collection of father-and-son regulars. Also as a true connoisseur that bottom-shelf brown liquor, Iggy’s cheap prices and generous pours eventually shed me out on Evan Williams eco-friendly Label.

Pig lips, though? i still can’t happen them up.

My very first lips were lugged in to Iggy’s by a patron well-known as miss out on Lula, who was constantly getting here with tubs of various sizes filled through oysters, chicken and other leftover delicacies that dubious origin. On the evening she carried in pig lips, ns confidently tried to grab one from the jar and shove that in mine mouth, bologna-style.

“No, baby, no,” she slapped mine hand prefer a kid getting to in a cookie jar. “Go grab you yourself a bag the chips and I’ll display you exactly how to perform it.”

Eating pickled pig lips top top their own deserve to be an overwhelmingly spongy experience, favor chewing v a sea cucumber together it absorbs all the boozy remnants from your mouth. In order come counterbalance this, those in the understand grab a bag the potato chips, crush castle up and shake the pig lips around in the bag to provide them a little bit of extra grease and also a (much appreciated) bite.

Some will controversy the choice to coat your pig lip in crushed-up Zapp’s versus pulverized Lay’s, a an individual decision around akin come the difference between choosing come batter a piece of fish in cornmeal or encrust that in panko crumbs. Yet for purists, Louisiana favorite Zapp’s (Crawtators, if possible) space hands down the just answer.

Even v this charming ritual, pickle pig lips stay the cilantro and also Kanye West the bar snacks: girlfriend either take to them and develop a hankering, or deserve to only dream the spitting them out on command. Fortunately, I immediately appreciated how the contempt gristly, porous structure of the lips mops up liquor in just the right way, serving as a palate cleanser and wiping the slate clean in between a shoot of Jack and a couple of more Bud Lights. As soon as you gain past the (admittedly challenging) smell, the snack attributes as a stomach settler, an especially with a salty chip coat—just tart sufficient to give any type of digestif a run for its money. Sure, it’s no pretty. However it’s the perfect, weighty sidekick to a lengthy night of drinking.

Much choose my grandmother, I spent a long time trying to coax the uninitiated into at least providing pickled pig a chew.

“Just one small bite!” I’d cry, thinking of miss out on Lula’s patience v my naiveté, hope to do someone a freshly converted college student of the pork pickle. Today, though, ns greedy sufficient to shrug when someone transforms up their sleep at together an extremely food come pair with a night of drinking—more because that me now, after ~ all. Prefer VP and also BreezyBe, there’s nothing ns want more after a long night 보다 pig lips and chips.

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So, if you nothing mind, pass that jar and a bag the Zapp’s my way. I’ll display you just how it’s done.