"Hairs and capillaries usually can be seen on real pig ears, while fake ones do not have hair or capillaries", according to Yang Fan, named as a researcher at Beijing-based "Green Beagle" by China Daily.
This information is important because the newest wave of counterfeits in China is not polo shirts or DVDs, but rather pig ears. These were quickly detected by one customer who thought the ears smelled off, and confirmed by government officials: the "ears" were entirely fabricated from gelatin and sodium oleate, a chemical "commonly used in the production of soap".
Here's how to make even a fake ear taste delicious:
Recipe: SPICY SOW EAR
1. Ingredients: 400g of boiled pigs ear, toasted sesame seeds, 2g of MSG, 20g of sugar, 30g of soy sauce, 2g of pepper, 15g of oil
2. Cut the green onion into a bed of tendrils
3. Chop the boiled ears (or gelatin/sodium oleate substitute!) into strips, and mix with the green onion.
4. Dress with soy sauce, MSG, sugar, pepper, seeds and oil, and mix gently.
5. Serve cold.