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I'm Eating What?! "Authentic" Filipino Cracklins

They're Filipino, they're fried, and they're pure fat.
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 piƱa 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

I'm Eating What?! "Authentic" Filipino Cracklins

those

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.

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.

I'm Eating What?! "Authentic" Filipino Cracklins



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.


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