Cracklin, a Delicious Cajun Treat
So, what is cracklin’? Many people are familiar with eating pork skins as a snack, but few know the scrumptious taste of a cracklin. Cracklin’ are fried pieces of pork fat with layers of meat and skin still attached.
Found in many of the meat markets located in Cajun country, cracklin’ is made fresh each day. To cook cracklin, pieces of pig belly must be cut into large chunks. The chunks are then fried in hog lard for almost an hour, during which time HALF the fat is rendered out.
Dont’ worry though, there’s still plenty of fat left! After cooling, the chunks are then re-fried until the skin of the cracklin’ begins to blister or “pop.” They are then seasoned with a salty, spicy secret blend unique to each market. The final product is about half the size of the raw peices used.
You were probably able to gather that cracklin’ may not be the most healthy thing to eat….and it isn’t! (unless you’re on a low-carb diet!–then, it’s just the thing!) Cajuns don’t eat cracklin’ as a meal, or even with meals. Cracklin’ is a treat or snack that you pick up at the grocery store like you would a bag of chips or a candy bar.
Cracklin’ may not be for everyone, but if you are willing to try it or eager to pick up this treat for yourself, consider some of these great little places to get your paper bag full.
Chops Specialty Meats –Located in Broussard, LA
Nunu’s Fresh Market – Located in Youngsville, LA
Earl’s Cajun Market – Located in Lafayette, LA, on Verot School Rd.
By: Whitney Ross, Lafayette Native