We all love the traditional ‘Pork crackling’ – the salted crunchy pork rind produced when roasting a joint of pork. This is created when the heat of the oven causes the fatty pork skin to dry, bubble up and become crunchy.
But how did this evolve into the seasoned pork scratchings we enjoy as a snack today?
Pork Scratchings have been popular in the UK and especially in the Black Country since the times when families would fatten up a “tunky pig” (a pig fattened-up especially for Christmas), then slaughter it for meat and slice the skin with the fat into strips which they would then deep fry. Some believe that their popularity grew in the early 19th century when new uses were found for offcuts from pigs and to ensure nothing would be wasted. Then in the early 20th Century enterprising butchers would produce and sell their own scratchings in tie-bags. The rest, as they say, is history.
Pork scratchings are typically slightly hard to the bite, have a crispy layer of fat under the skin, and are flavored with a salty seasoning.