I'm Eating What?! "Authentic" Filipino Cracklins
They're Filipino, they're fried, and they're pure fat.
Photos by Eric Barton
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
Cajun ones. The label describes them simply as "Fried out pork fat with attached skin." Now, I like pork fat and dig pork skin, but there's something not so appetizing about that sentence.
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.
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
Who should eat these? Anyone with a large daiquiri to finish and a long drive to New Orleans ahead.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.