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“YOU SCRATCH MY BACK…”

Pork scratchings have gone all artisanal! Sam Walters takes a look.
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It’s sad to admit, but pork scratchings have a bad reputation. To be quite frank it’s easy to see why. Chunks of pig skin that come in little foil bags with a cartoon man on the front aren’t anyone’s idea of good living, or at least, they shouldn’t be. Then there’s the issue of the fat content, the copious calories and the occasional hair that seems to come along for the ride. This said, pork scratchings are quite possibly the best snack to ever grace a bar. With their crisp texture and salty wallop, they make the perfect accompaniment to almost any beer. 

Well, the good news is that these slightly grizzly pub favourites appear to be undergoing a transformation and are fast on their way to becoming a socially acceptable foodstuff. Following the trend for all things organic, vintage, hand-crafted and baked with love, pork scratchings have come over all artisanal. Pubs up and down the country are now offering a homemade version that are served on such things as plates and bowls, and can be eaten with a clean conscience. Well, almost… there’s no low calorie option available just yet.

If your local hasn’t quite cottoned on and is still serving the packet stuff, then have no fear. Let us at Ilovegoodbeer.com encourage you to take the initiative, get into that kitchen and make your own. Listen, it’s as easy as pie; in fact it’s easier.

All you need is a sheet of pig skin (… we know, but it is readily available at any good butchers), some boiling water, a pot of coarse salt and an oven. Pour the boiling water over the top of the skin to open up the pores before rubbing in a bountiful quantity of salt. Hang the thing up to dry on a meat hook (or just in the fridge) for about an hour, then roast the thing in the oven at maximum power. Fifteen to twenty minutes later and Bob’s your rather porcine uncle. The final step is to take a hefty pair of scissors and cut the sheet up into shards to be served with a nice pint of (insert favourite ale here). 

Bon Appetit...!  

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I Love Good Beer Mag - Oct 2013