Chicharrones revisited

From a poster at 4505 Meats: “Gringo translation: Crispity clouds of porkaliciousness”

I honestly had no intentions of eating the whole bag. I swear! Hell, I don’t even like pork rinds! Really, I don’t! Or at least I used to not like them.

My last memory of eating pork rinds was back when I was a kid. It was the mid 90s and my parents, who have tried every fad diet known to man, were deep into the Atkins diet. When the good doctor wrote in his books that pork rinds had zero carbs, my parents started buying them in bulk. They were found in the potato chips aisle which to my young mind equated them with being just as tasty, yet when I tried them at home, I realized I had been duped. They were like weird pig-flavored styrofoam and when I found out they were made from tough, nasty pig skin, I was completely turned off of the whole idea.

Fast forward to present day San Francisco. While doing my routine reading-up on things to eat here, I came across chicharrones (the spanish name for pork rinds,) from 4505 Meats. Reviews were gushing with praise for the carb-less snack as people went on and on about how amazing and delicious they were.

So I got curious and decided to see what all the fuss was about. I thought I would have one or two, maybe three if they weren’t gross, and then casually snack on them over the next couple of days. But no, that’s not how it went.

After buying a bag, I threw one of the crispy, curled strips of pig skin in my mouth  and hadn’t even started chewing when I realized something wonderful was happening. A fatty, buttery, warm taste filled my mouth as the chicharron began melting on my tongue. I bit down on it and it crackled in my mouth, with a really satisfying, crunchy pop, like one big, pork-infused Pop Rock. The predominant flavor was salty and fat, like a fatty strip of bacon, but yet there was the slightest hint of sweetness too. It was insane.

I had one, then two and three, and then more. I couldn’t stop. Those damn chicharrones were pig crack! So light and crisp, so perfect in their salty-sweet combo, so utterly addictive! Just one more. Ok, another one. Last one, then no more. Oh fine, one more.

And then they were gone. The whole damn bag.

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