Pork rinds are going through a little resurgence these days, mostly thanks to their appeal as a keto-friendly, low-carb snack. These crunchy pieces of fried pig skin have been a staple of Southern cooking for centuries.
You might see pork snacks sold under other names – crackling most likely. What is the difference between rinds and crackling? While we’re at it, what are chicharróns?
Pork Rinds vs. Pork crackling: What’s The Difference?
Pork rinds and crackling start almost the same way. When you render the pork, bits of fried skin break off and float to the surface. The maker skims this off, salts it, and serves as a snack. What separates the two is the amount of meat left on the skin; this affects the texture and taste of the final product.
Pork rind has no meat on the skin. After we submerge the pieces in a deep fryer for a minute, they pop into a curl. The final product is a light, puffy snack that customers can eat straight out of the bag or in different recipes.
crackling does have some fat on the skin, giving it a hard, meatier crunch than rinds. Pork crackling (or scratchings in the U.K.) is still a snack without carbs, but its protein levels are higher than pork rinds; most ketogenic dieters carefully control their protein intake. You can tell it from a pork rind because there’s no puff, but fewer companies make these available on store shelves here in Canada.
What About Chicharróns?
One popular form of this snack is called chicharróns. Chicharróns is deep-fried fatback or pork belly served fresh and hot out of the fryer. Of the three, it has the most fat on the skin, meaning it comes out of the fryer as a dense cube rather than a puff. Popular around the world, try them if you come across them in a restaurant while travelling – though fair warning, they are incredibly rich and a few bites will be enough!
The most popular of these products remains pork rinds, and they are the ones you are most likely to find here in Ontario. But most people’s experiences with pork rinds don’t necessarily reflect the true flavour and texture of the snack! The North Carolina publication Indy Week (so you know they know their Southern snacks) put it best: “most of the national brands found today have the consistency of foam packing peanuts, with a taste to match. If you want real pork rinds, you need to go local.”
You can go local by choosing The Ketonut and our house-made Collared Pig Pork Rinds. We make our pork rinds in three different flavours – Dill Pickle, Sweet Cinnamon, and Ranch – using no preservatives and all-natural ingredients. Your business can join companies across Canada in offering these incredible no-carb snacks to your customers!