Pork rinds! They’re directly related to bacon so needless to say, we love them. Southern Recipe Small Batch
has introduced a line of pork rinds that differ from super market bags in a few ways.
For one thing these come in four different flavors: Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper, Spicy Dill, Korean Kimchi BBQ, and Pineapple Ancho Chile. I got one bag of each of the Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper and Korean Kimchi BBQ to taste.
Does ‘small batch’ make a difference?
According to Southern Recipe they spend a lot of time developing their recipes and then producing their pork rinds. From my own tasting I believe they do devote a lot of effort in their recipes and production. They use sunflower oil to cook the rinds and then dust them with spices. According to their literature each 4 oz bag delivers 8 grams of protein, so aside from great taste there’s some health benefit - well at least there is some protein in your snacks.
Of course pork rinds are in general a great snack when paired with beverages of all kinds. To test out a variety of combinations we took our goodies to our local tasting room where our friends seem to always be enjoying some kind of embibement. That day the beverages included a variety of craft beers, several types and styles of wine, and a few hard ciders.
Rather than give a blow by blow account of each tester’s response (because they were pretty much unanimous) I’ll group them by the flavors.
Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
These were crunchy and tasty and paired well with everything. The crunch made for a nice addition to the liquids and maybe because they are cooked in small batches, they were not overly oily. I did have to politely request they return my bag before they emptied it, so that’s a testimony that they were well received.
Korean Kimchi BBQ
This one was a surprise to me in that I expected it not to be too different from what us Southerners expect from our pork rinds. But in fact it was the favorite with all but 2 of our tasters. The flavor is bold (much bolder than the Sea Salt rinds) but not overly hot. The BBQ flavor must be of the Korean variety because it didn’t match up with the Carolina tastes we are all used to. Still, it won out as the fav and in trying to wrest the bag back to my own table, the bag ripped and spilled on the bar. Fortunately no rinds were lost as everyone dove in to retrieve any strays.
I’m looking forward to finding these bags in my local stores and trying the other 2 recipes. They are different from the normal flavors, and if the Spicy DIll and Pineapple Ancho Chile are as interesting as the others I’m sure they will be a hit as well.