Thursday, March 11, 2010

Herr's Pork Rinds

In the world of packaged meat snacks, pork is the lowest common denominator. You won't find chicken, beef, or fish snacks in the chip aisle. You will, however, come across something as synonymous with sports spectating as it is with minor heart palpitations: pork rinds.

I was celebrating my article getting into the Philly Weekly by collecting issues of my best clip yet with Brian and Justin. As we walked toward Reyes Grocery on 22nd, both my compadres came out with the same recommendation. They were right, I'd never tried pork rinds. I was skeptical as to whether there was any actual meat in a back of pork rinds. The list of ingredients snubbed my lack of belief with a succinct ingredients list: Pork rinds, salt.

That was it. The simple formula for a cheap and tasty snack. It amazed me that something composed of animal parts could cost the same or less than any number of items containing only potatoes. Says something about the value of a pig.

When we got back to Justin's crib, his cats immediately knew what was up. They gravitated toward the bag of pork rinds like it was a decaying bird carcass (the only thing they like more than balls of yarn). Dodging their attempts at snatching the contents, I opened up the bag and pulled out a bulbous, yellow, impossibly light cloud of pig flake and stuffed it into my mouth. After a chew or two, the mass flaked into the flavor of pure grease and salt. It actually tasted pretty damn good.

The three of us finished the bag while discussing its contents. Brian warned that, though they were tasty and easy to scarf down, eating a whole bag would leave you feeling like you're having a heart attack. I noted this after I'd eaten a number of rinds; a slight nausea, similar to what I feel after eating a really greasy samosa. This sensation raised the question as to why they sell such an item in enormous bag sizes at certain stores. Of course, that question ignores the American affinity for general unhealthiness.

Nevertheless, I won't shy away from a pork rind or two next time they're in front of me. Though if I find myself in the chip aisle anytime soon, I'll be inclined to pick up a snack with a little less after burn.

1 comment: