I'm Eating What?! "Authentic" Filipino Cracklins
|Photos by Eric Barton|
|They're Filipino, they're fried, and they're pure fat.|
My first experience with cracklins came when I moved to Houma, Louisiana, after college. I'd make the hour drive to New Orleans on weekend nights, and along the way, there were two important stops: the drive-through daiquiri shop and one of the gas stations where they'd cook up Cajun finger foods. At the gas stations, they served amazing shrimp boudin and Cajun-flavored cracklin. Ah, there's nothing quite like downing a piña colada while crunching on spicy, fried pork skin.
The bag of Super-Sarap cracklins I picked up recently at a Filipino market look
fairly similar to
The result of that attached skin is a shoe-leather-looking layer on some of the pieces. With the bumpy exterior, it looks more like tripe (the only food to date that I refuse to eat again).
The package also promises that these cracklins are an "authentic Filipino recipe," so I'm expecting something spicy or covered in chili powder.
Instead, the cracklin is similar to the plain ones eaten across the South. They've got that unmistakable crunch of deep-fried pork fat. They taste like the lard layer on the outside of bacon, and with one piece, the outside of my mouth feels fairly coated with grease. It's a good feeling, really.
Who should eat these? Anyone with a large daiquiri to finish and a long drive to New Orleans ahead.