Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


My dictionary gives a description of Chicharron as "pork crackling...  with a second definition as a sunburned person.  We're definitely talking about Pork Cracklings here....

I'm betting at least some of you have bought bags of "pork rinds" in the States...  they don't have any carbs so if you've ever used the Atkins Diet....    they were a tasty snack.

Truthfully, I have no idea how they got from the pig to the cellophane bag in the States...  but I've watched first hand how they get from the pig to the table brown paper bag here in Nayarit, Mexico.

Okay...  you know those crispy strips are pork skin, right?  We bought some down at the Mega Mart (fancy grocery store) that were really just chunks of deep fried pork... maybe 3/4" X 3/4" by maybe 6 inches long.  Tasted almost like jerky we'd have bought in Texas.  Here in Lo de Marcus...  

Nope...  no way...  
It starts out with the pork hide.  (what else would you call it?)...  it's been cleaned of the rough stuff and (most) of the hairs.  The underside has some fat and maybe a few strips of meat still on it.  It's cut into strips...  

And dumped into a huge cauldron of boiling oil.

I can think of 4 or 5 different carnicerias here that start their chicharrones early in the morning...  they have that huge kettle out there...  with a fire lit underneath it...  by 7:30 or 8:00 am
We do have our favorite shops, but still buy various items from a lot of different vendors throughout each week.  Actually, I found one place that I prefer their chicken...  another I like their pork...  (we so seldom eat beef I haven't even looked for that)...  and another is our favorite fish shop.  But still...  we shop around...  

Those pork strips deep fry until they are crispy and crunchy!
Darn!  I can almost taste them as I write.  They actually melt in your mouth as you bite down on a strip.

If you're early enough, you just grab some tongs and pull out of the cauldron what you want.  The vendor gives you a small brown paper bag to put them in.  Bill doesn't have the taste for them that I do... oh, he'll have a bite now and then...  but me?  darn!  I just love 'em!   If you got there after they were finished, you can pick what you want from the huge pans they keep them in until they are sold.  And... believe me...  they go quickly!

Like I wrote, I'm thinking of 4, maybe 5, different locations within a few blocks...  not everyone fixes them each day...  and maybe each have their own special customers...  

I prefer this place, myself...
The chicharrones are so crisp...  and the seasoning is just spicy enough (probably pays hell with my blood pressure... but...  such is life)....

A closer view...
That cauldron is empty here...  not even hot.  The glass display case (where the chicharrones are kept until sold) is also empty.  Heck, that dog can't even find a spot of grease to lick up.

Honest, I don't indulge everyday of this as a treat...  even though we're walking a lot everyday, I don't know if I can handle all that fat and salt intake.  Oh well....  I still love every morsel.

That's All For Today! 


  1. This is fascinating...

    And it doesn't make me like chicharrones any better.

  2. Oh yeah love them too, have even made small batches when I can get a pork roast with the skin on it, or roasted right on a whole pig on a large rotisserie BBQ, soo good.

  3. Nope, not for me but loved your description!

  4. I really like pork rinds, but I must admit the first photo sort of set me back a bit. I just won't think about how they make them when I eat

  5. I'll pass on that "treat" too thanks!

  6. I wonder if...
    My bil loves those things, too. Once, driving down the road, he spit part of one into his hand and handed it to my sister to identify. "It's a pig's asshole," she informed him.

  7. I looked up recipes online for them after your first mention of them and how to make them from the skin with fat attached. Sound sinfully yummy and that's coming from someone who rarely eats meat or even cheese (lactose intolerant).