Hog maw

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Hog maw is the stomach of a pig. More specifically, it is the exterior muscular wall of the stomach organ (with interior, lining mucosa removed) which contains no fat if cleaned properly. It can be found in soul food, Chinese, Pennsylvania Dutch, Mexican, Portuguese and Italian dishes. In addition, it can be prepared in various ways including stewed, fried, baked, and broiled.

Ethnic dishes

Pennsylvania Dutch

Hog maw (sometimes called "pig's stomach" or "Susquehanna turkey" or "Pennsylvania Dutch goose") is a Pennsylvania Dutch dish. In the Pennsylvania German language, it is known as "Seimaage" (sigh-maw-guh), originating from its German name Saumagen. It is made from a cleaned pig's stomach traditionally stuffed with cubed potatoes and loose pork sausage. Other ingredients include cabbage, onions, and spices. It was traditionally boiled in a large pot covered in water, not unlike Scottish haggis, but it can also be baked or broiled until browned or split, then it is drizzled with butter before serving. It is usually served hot on a platter, cut into slices, and topped with horseradish or stewed tomatoes. It can also be served cold as a sandwich. Often served in the winter, it was made on hog butchering days on the farms of Lancaster and Berks Counties and elsewhere in the Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

It remains a traditional New Year's Day side dish for many Pennsylvania German families; in fact, many families believe that it is bad luck if not even a small piece is consumed on New Year's Day, as is the case with pork and sauerkraut. The stomach is purchased at one of the many traditional butchers at local farmers' markets. The original recipe was most likely brought to Pennsylvania from the Palatinate area of Germany, where it is called Saumagen and served with sauerkraut, another Pennsylvania Dutch food. Indeed, Saumagen is reported to have been a favorite of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, a native of the Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) Region.

Soul food

As a soul food dish, hog maw has often been coupled with chitterlings, which are pig intestines. In the book Plantation Row Slave Cabin Cooking: The Roots of Soul Food hog maw is used in the Hog Maw Salad recipe. [1]

Hog maw is also traditionally prepared for New Year's Day for prosperity along with other traditional Southern New Year's Day dishes like collard greens and Hoppin' John.

Chinese cuisine

Stir fried hog maw served with pork and beef baozis

In Chinese cuisine, hog maw is often served stir fried with vegetables. It can also be braised, chilled, and sliced as part of a cold cut tray.

Latin American cuisine

Hog maws (called "buche") are a specialty in taco stands all over Mexico, mostly deep fried with the rest of the pork.

In Puerto Rico, hog maws are called Cuajos. Cuajitos is a popular street vendor food found around the island and is most often served with boiled green banana escabeche (not plantains) and morcilla (blood sausage).

In popular culture

  • Gil Scott-Heron's famous piece, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised", mentions figures such as "General Abrams and Spiro Agnew" eating "hog maws confiscated from the Harlem sanctuary..."
  • The Joe Cuba Sextet's song "Bang Bang" contains the refrain "corn bread, hog maw and chitlins [chitterlings]".[2]
  • In The Office's December 6, 2012 episode "Dwight Christmas", Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) serves hog maw as the main dish for the Dunder Mifflin Pennsylvania Dutch–themed Christmas party.
  • In the 1995 movie Friday directed by F. Gary Gray and writers Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, "Mr. Jones" played by John Witherspoon, berates his son Craig. "Every time I come in the kitchen, you in the kitchen. In the goddamn refrigerator. Eatin' up all the food. All the chitlins... All the pig's feet... All the collard greens... All the hog maws. I wanna eat them chitlins... I like pig's feet."


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  2. Gonzalez, David, "Mourning Joe Cuba, a Bandsman Whose Legacy Was Joy", The New York Times, February 19, 2009

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