Recently, there seems to be a bit of a thing about Pork Scratchings. Perhaps people are latching on to my own method for making them at home ? My earlier recipe is here.
So a bit more information on the subject is required …..
- Pork scratchings originated in the early 19th century, when the production of meat began to be industrialised. The term literally means the scraps from the slaughterhouse floor.
- An estimated 20 million packs of pork scratchings are sold each year as bar snacks. The Black Country in the West Midlands is the epicentre of the industry.
- There are 606 calories and 2.9g of salt per 100g of pork scratchings (Source: Mr Porky’s, sold in 20g packs).
- Traditionally, scratchings are fried and made with the softer, relatively hairless skin with attached fat, behind the hock (back foot) of the pig; crackling is roasted or baked, and can be made from a wider portion of the pig.
- Before cooking scratchings, hair must be singed off and the skin blanched in boiling water to open the pores. Some swear by this to optimise crackling levels when roasting pork at home.
- International versions include pork rinds and cracklings in the USA, grillons or grattons in France, chicharrones in Central America and the Spanish Caribbean.
- 99 per cent of scratchings sold in the UK are made with Danish pork. Before recent changes in legislation, this was not revealed on labels.
- When fried, the skin of the scratching hardens. All UK brands carry a label warning that contents are suitable only for people with strong healthy teeth.
There are also a couple of excellent websites devoted to Pork Sratchings with more on the history, recipes, reviews etc …. click on the logos
Charlie the butcher