A buzzy snack is popping up in supermarkets across the country alongside kale chips and quinoa puffs: pork rinds.
Even longtime fans might not recognize their new place in the foodie food chain, The Wall Street Journal reports.
New brands are seeking to transcend the rind’s reputation as a greasy gas-station staple by using premium ingredients like humanely raised pork and Himalayan pink salt. If that’s not enough to provoke a case of cognitive dissonance, there are even vegan alternatives.
Rinds, their chewier cousins, cracklings, and chicharrones are the latest foods to get a full makeover to please the kind of Whole Foods shopper who wouldn’t be caught dead buying groceries in a Circle K.
At least one expert at the University of Mississippi saw this fatty fad coming. John T. Edge is director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization based at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture in Oxford, Miss. He notes that rinds are tied to hog slaughter, from the age of family farming to today. “They have always been a simple, elegant, frugal food that is both hyper-traditional and thoroughly modern.” Read the full story.