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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chicharrones (Pork Skins)

A couple of days ago I posted about our foodies finds during our recent vacation to the sunny south.  I always find it rather interesting what is considered a snack food in other geographical locations.  I am not a snack type person.  Rather I am a grazer who can easily eat almost constantly throughout the day but I tend to go after fruits, vegetables, cheese, beef jerky and believe it or not beans.  My favourite snack food is steamed broccoli with just a little butter followed by hot buttered popcorn or almonds if I want something crunchy.  Years ago, well before we had kids and were just dating I discovered pork rinds.  They never became a staple in my snack choice but then I discovered pork cracklings that I get to indulge in about once couple of years.  Then I discovered chicharrones (pork skins) sold in large bags in the area of our vacation home.

chicharrones (pork skins)
Chicharrones (pork skins) are similar to pork rinds but they are huge!  Just look at how gorgeous they are.  They are delightful so once again I brought a bag home. 

Chicharrones give the crunch you are after but unlike potato chips you can eat a bit because you can snap off what you want and they are filling.  I don't have a bag of plain potato chips to compare the nutritional values to but when compared to sour cream & onion potato chips, a serving size of chicharrones at 14 g (about the size of a normal cracker) while the chips serving is 50 g.  It's important to realize though that the serving size of chicharrones is more than sufficient to satisfy your crunch craving while 20 chips (50 g) is not.  If factoring the chicharrones to 50 g the nutritional value is quite similar to the chips except there is cholesterol, no carbohydrates and more protein. The bottom line is neither chicharrones or potato chips should be part of a regular healthy diet but on occasion it doesn't hurt.

I think this is a really different snack.  The last time I brought home a bag I broke the chicharrones into cracker sized pieces and put it out for the guys when we were entertaining.  It was gone in no time and I got a lot of compliments off of it!  I may just talk to our butcher to see if I can buy pork skin to try to make these at home.  It would be a very interesting experiment!

4 food lovers commented:

LindaG said...

If you ever get to Louisiana, try the cracklins. They're a lot like pork rinds, but usually with a bit of meat still attached. :-)

Mama Mia said...

We call that "chicharon" here in the Philippines. The most popular and tasty being the ones sold by "Lapid's Chicharon". Their stores are all over Manila. They come in 2 variants: skin only or the one with meat (very crispy) still attached. All sinfully salty but yummy. And they sell it with a special spicy vinegar dipping. :P

Garden Gnome said...

Linda, I make cracklins whenever I get a chance to get pig skins which isn't often. They are so good!

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Mama Mia, aren't they tasty! I haven't found the one with meat still attached. The dipping vinegar sounds interesting too.