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Pork rind

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Pork rind (known in the United Kingdom as pork scratchings, as a room-temperature snack, or crackling, served hot as part of a meal, and in Australia and New Zealand as pork crackle/crackling) is the fried or roasted skin (rind) of a pig. Frying melts most of the fat from the pork rind. Uncooked pork rind may be used as a fishing bait, or cooked with beans or stewed vegetables or in soups. The pork rind may have subcutaneous fat attached.

Pork rind as a snack

Chunks of cured pork skins are deep-fried and puffed into light, irregular curls, and often seasoned with chili pepper or barbecue flavoring.

Microwavable pork rinds are sold which are microwaved in bags that resemble microwave popcorn (although not exhibiting the popping sound) and can be eaten still warm. Pickled pork rinds, on the other hand, are often enjoyed refrigerated and cold. Unlike the crisp and fluffy texture of fried pork rinds, pickled pork rinds are very rich and buttery, much like foie gras.

Variation - Eastern Europe

In Hungary, pork rinds are called tepertő or töpörtyű and are fried in lard and eaten with bread and spring onions. Tepertő is a traditional food in Hungary, connected to peasant cookery (see also Szalonna (bacon)). In Serbia and Croatia, pork rinds are called čvarci, a popular home-made peasant food in the lowland Pannonian regions. In Bulgaria they are known as пръжки and a very popular winter food, usually deep-fried in fat. The skin may or may not be attached, but any hair is generally removed. Čvarci are most often made during the traditional slaughter of pigs in Croatia and Serbia. A special kind of čvarci in Serbia is called duvan čvarci (lit. "tobacco cracklings"): they are made by pressing čvarci during the preparation to have appearance of tobacco. In Czech Republic pork rinds are called škvarky and are generally prepared in lard. In some parts of the country a spread (škvarková pomazánka) is produced by mincing the rinds. They are traditionally connected with the pig slaughtering during winter months but today are available in most butcher's and selected supermarkets all year round, usually in lard. In Romania and Moldova, pork rinds are called jumări and are prepared in a similar fashion to the British scratchings, but the most common use for the pork rind is şorici. Traditionally, the pig is slaughtered on St. Ignatius' Day, December 20.

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