Over the years, your correspondent has been lucky enough to eat a few pork rinds.
For a long time, the chip — deep-fried pork skin with the fat rendered off, essentially — tended to hold the card of lowbrow junk food. But with the uprise of high-end, nose-to-tail butchery, it has become a suitable snack for any type of party. And by suitable, we mean chefs and meat purveyors are now selling churched-up, free-range, GMO-free pork rinds. And when crispy, crunchy, delicately salted pork rinds become more than just a fatty afterthought, they transcend basically every other member of the chip phylum.
As for where to find them? Fret not: restaurant-quality pork skins are more widely available than ever.
Forget about the pork rinds you’ll find at your local corner store. Now is the time for organic, pasture-raised and antibiotic-free rinds. Below, three bags worth passing around.
This San Francisco-based butcher restaurant has been peddling its legendary rinds for close to a decade, but only recently were they made available nationwide. Flavors include classic chili and salt, smokehouse barbecue and jalapeño cheddar. BUY IT HERE
Epic Pork Skins
Epic is known known for its 100% grass-fed meat bars, and its approach to its pork rinds are no different. Available in three different flavors (we’re partial to the maple bacon), the chips boast an ingredient list you’ll indeed be familiar with. BUY IT HERE
Bacon’s Heir Pork Clouds
If you’re looking for a non-deep-fried option, these kettle-cooked rinds should do the trick. The cooking process gives these chips extra fluffy, hence the name. Refined snackers will find a favorite in the rosemary and seasalt. BUY IT HERE