Pork scratchings

If you’re a vegetarian, you might want to look away now. As far as I know, Linda McCartney doesn’t do a vegetarian version of pork scratchings. For anyone who’s led a sheltered life and who doesn’t know what pork scratchings are, they’re bits of pig skin (complete with the layer of subcutaneous fat), deep fried with salt. I assume Satan invented them.
Fat and salt are high on the list of don’t eats, along with lots of other yummy things, like bratwurst and wine, but in comparison, bratwurst and wine are downright nutritious, having sustained generations of Germans and French people. To my knowledge, no culture on the planet has based its diet around pork scratchings. However, it’s possible that there have been many such cultures, each doomed to an early end because of the inherent unhealthiness of the staple food.
The big problem with pork scratchings is that they’re very tasty (if you like that sort of thing). There are lots of different kinds that you can buy in supermarkets, with names like ‘Mr Porky’ and ‘Hogbites’. When my wife was alive, we conducted a not entirely scientific tasting of pork scratchings. Hogbites don’t taste of anything much. Pork scratchings for sissies. Mr Porky gold aren’t bad, but MMs are better, as long as you eat them well before the ‘best before’ date, because they don’t have any preservatives (apart from the obvious fats and salt).
The Weigh Inn in Causewayhead (Penzance) sells loose pork scratchings, which are better than all the supermarket versions, but in best satanic tradition, they’re cursed. Crackling is hard, and it breaks your teeth (MMs come with a tooth warning on the packet). Very occasionally, I treat myself to a little bag of Weigh Inn pork scratchings, for old times’ sake, but I eat them very carefully.
For Paradise truly lost, a butcher at the top of Causewayhead used to sell pork scratchings. I once asked him what there was in the way of added ingredients. His reply was, “Pigs and salt.” I’d go in, and ask for a quarter of pork scratchings (a bit over a hundred grammes, for people who were brought up in the EU). He’d produce a giant pork scratching, effectively half a pig with the meat taken away, put it on the scales and say, “It’s a bit over, is that okay?”
I’d just nod. Once I got the pork scratching home, I’d break it up with a hammer into pieces I could get in my mouth. Truly delicious, though undoubtedly bad for the teeth, heart, etc.
Well done Satan. The shop at the top of Causewayhead is now a hairdresser’s or something, and Milton is a steriliser. Paradise Lost.

2 thoughts on “Pork scratchings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *