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Chicharrones Pork

Chicharonnes, Cracklins, and Pork Rinds - Do the names mean anything?

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Chicharonnes, Cracklins, and Pork Rinds - Do the names mean anything?

TuteTibiImperes | Jan 16, 2012 07:53 PM

I'm having trouble trying to find any clear cut differences between chicharonnes, cracklins, and pork rinds, at least as far as the names go. While all are tasty food made from the skin and/or fat of the pig, I can't seem to find any consistency in what name goes with what variation. From my experience there seem to be three clear variation on the same dish:

1. Fluffy, puffy, crispy fried skin, similar in texture to a puffy Cheeto, but porkier. These are most commonly called Pork Rinds, but I've seen these labeled as Chicharrones as well.

2. Hard and crunchy fried skin, usually served room temperature. Sometimes these have tasty soft fried fat attached, sometimes not. These are what I most often see called Cracklins, but I've seen them labeled as Pork Rinds and Chicharonnes as well. Also, I can't seem to find any difference in the labeling for the varieties that are just hard crunchy skin, and the ones that have the fat still attached (which are better IMO).

3. Deep fried pork belly, heavily scored, served hot and fresh, with meat, fat, and I guess sometimes skin as well. I've most often seen this labeled Chicaronne, but I've seen the dish called Cracklin as well.

What do you call each of these things? Is there a consensus on the naming, or can any label go with any of these related, but rather different, pork products? Do you have a favorite? Does anyone know of a good source for the 2nd variety that has the crunchy bits but still has the nice salty fat layer as well?

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