Pork cracklings or pork rinds are fried pig skin and pig fat. They have a wonderful smell when they are fresh.
The image above shows the type of pork cracklings more common in Eastern Europe, which has a higher fat content. It is often eaten with white bread, some salt and garlic and/or onions.
The variety more common in North America is a somewhat drier fried pig skin usually called pork rind or in many places in the US by its Spanish name chicharrón — although the Spanish word can mean either kind of pork cracklings.
This variety is usually eaten just like chips.
In fact either kind can be eaten as a snack food which is a lot healthier than eating potato chips or even tortillas.
The North American variety is fairly common everywhere in North America.
The other variety is found in more speciality stores that sell either Eastern European or some Latin American food.
You can also make them at home, for example by following this recipe:
Homemade pork scratchings: perfect for picnics
If you are into some sort of low carbohydrate diet you probably want to eat them as is.
People who eat more traditional food have another option, to make pork crackling biscuits common in Eastern Europe.
These traditionally have a fluffy multi-layered dough (they are folded lots of times during preparation — like making a samurai sword out of dough).
The ones on the picture above were made by me and they weren’t properly folded so the dough wasn’t so nice and fluffy. They tasted good nevertheless.
For a more proper recipe check these out:
Pogacsa with pork rind
And please remember that fat is your friend.