Bizarre Snacks: Is There Any Up Side to Pork Rinds?

It had to happen. It was inevitable in a series about Bizarre Snacks, that this particular snack would pop up. Dan was hoping to avoid it, but then Meenakshi walked in one day with a big smile on her face announcing she had found the next food item. Yes, it’s time for pork rinds.
But being Bizarre Snacks, these are not just your run-of-the-mill bodega pork rinds. Oh, no. These are Goya Foods Hot n’ Spicy Chicharrones Smokehouse Flavored Pork Rinds. That’s a mouthful, and so is this snack.
Apparently, pork rinds is one of those snack “comfort” foods that Meena remembers from her youth. Ah, the heady days of a Chicago spring, walking to school with the girls chowing down pork rinds. Dan also remembers pork rinds being a major player in Sunday afternoon football parties, as well as miscellaneous, uh, big boned friends, eating them for breakfast.
Look, we’re not fooling anyone with pork rinds, right? You can add all the hot and spicy to them you want. You can even call them chicharrones, which is a popular Latin American dish. But that little swine on the plastic Goya bag knows better. A pork rind is still fried pig skin. And that ain’t no good, right?
Well, yeah, it’s really bad for you. Did you think for a second we were going to pull a fast one, and dig up some obscure facts about how pork rinds are actually healthier than we all think. Nope, so such facts. The sodium content in a serving of pork rinds is nearly five times that of a serving of potato chips. There’s no trans fat in the Goya product, and that’s good, but there is still lots of fat. In fact, a handful of pork rinds (let’s say 10) contains nearly 200 calories, half of those from saturated fat and an insane 500mg (20% your daily allowance) of sodium. Cholesterol as well, around 6% a serving.
Yeah, so what, you’re saying. How does it taste? Good question, because really if you’re going to blow a week’s worth of exercise it better be worth it, right? It’s not. Pork rinds are terrible. The hot and spicy chicharrones are terrible. Deep fried terrible. Barely hot or spicy. The smokehouse flavor just tastes artificial and metallic. The after taste is prolonged and fatty. The ingredients mention paprika and chili pepper, but you wouldn’t know it. And there’s even something called silicon dioxide to “aid in processing.” Ugh.
Don’t blame Goya, a generally fine company with products we often eat. Blame pork rinds.
As an interesting side note, pork rinds are a big favorite of Atkins Diet users. Why? Because there are no carbohydrates in pork rinds. That makes them more “nutritious” to Atkins users as a snack food, then say pretzels which are high in carbs. That’s pretty thin logic if you ask us, since the trade off is sodium.
Some other fun facts: it appears pork rinds originated as the scraps left over during the process of rendering pork fat in lard. Yum!
Anyway, here’s our suggestion. Just don’t eat it. There are all kinds of variations of pork rinds out there, from British pork cracklings to Canadian scrunchions. If anyone knows of a healthy, or at the very least, a tasty, variety, we’d love to hear from you!

Does that pig on the package look like it’s trying to escape?

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2 Responses to Bizarre Snacks: Is There Any Up Side to Pork Rinds?

  1. Peter Noonan says:

    oh my. I hope you don't have to hike an extra mile to work of these.

  2. Need more than a mile buddy boy!

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