SINCE I started writing this blog, I’ve wanted to find the perfect pork scratchings. Why? Because pork scratchings are one of the most honest, simple and tasty snack foods you can buy. Not to mention that they can round off a bottle of ale perfectly.
Crisps just aren’t as meaty. Probably because they aren’t made of meat. But pork scratchings are. So, if your religion allows, you owe it to yourself to try a packet of pork scratchings the next time you enjoy a bottle or pint of ale. As long as your religion doesn’t forbid that also.
So where do we start? The choice in shops isn’t exactly overwhelming. Tesco was my starting point and it produced this: a large 35g bag of Mr. Porky Prime Cut Scratchings. Which I think puts this at the premium end of the market.
Mr. Porky himself, a jolly looking butcher type, makes an appearance on this, and the rest of the Mr. Porky range. These are, apparently “New”. And this “Seasoned Pork Rind” to give it it’s proper name is made with “Extra Big Pieces”. Yummy.
What of the back of the bag?
There’s quite a lot on here. And, in my experience, it’s much the same as what’s on the back of most packets of pork scratchings. There’s a quality guarantee in the form of “Mr. Porky’s Pledge”. There’s a red warning that only people with strong teeth should ever think of eating the contents.
The ingredients list starts off with “pork rind, pork fat, salt”. And that tells you everything you need to know about what it is and what it’ll taste like. It does contains wheat gluten and soya though, so watch out if you can’t eat those things.
There’s a whole table of nutrition information. But you’re about to eat almost pure fat and salt, so you don’t want to read what it says. Really, you don’t want to know how much fat you’re about to eat.
Elsewhere, we learn that this was made by Red Mill Snack Foods Ltd from Wednesbury in the West Midlands. And, if you want to, you can go to their website at www.mrporky.co.uk. On their website, which looks almost exactly like most brewers websites, we learn that this is just one of four types Mr. Porky’s. That’s going to make my search for the perfect pork scratching go on a bit longer than expected.
And that’s about it from the bag. All that remains is to open it up and sample the piggy goodness within. What will they taste like? And should you buy them? Lets find out.
What do they look like? Curly bits of pork Some big, but at least an equal number of small pieces. They look very very thoroughly cooked, with top and bottom of each piece being the same yellowy colour. Plenty of seasoning too. My hands are covered in dusty seasoning and grease.
What are they like to eat? In a couple of words, crunchy and tasty. The meaty part is soft and the crackly part is crunchy. Together, they have a texture you won’t find in any other type of snack.
They taste mildly of pork. Not as much as you’d think. And that’s probably because of the seasoning and salt.
What am I enjoying about Mr. Porky Prime Cut Scratchings? I like it that there’s some fairly big pieces in the bag. I like the salty seasoning that isn’t too strong. And that it’s well made.
There are one or two problems however. For a start, Mr. Porky Prime Cut Scratchings are supposed to be “Extra Big Pieces”. Sure, there are some big pieces in there. But only about a third of them were. The rest were the normal small size. And that’s disappointing. There’s inconsistency in other ways too. Some of them are soft with a crunchy crackly top. Others are so well done that they’re all crunchy and as hard as granite. Still, it does keep you on your toes.
Are Mr. Porky Prime Cut Scratchings the perfect pork scratching? I don’t know. I haven’t had enough to know. They are delicious though. I heartily recommend them. I can’t help thinking that there are better pork scratchings lurking somewhere out there in the British Isles. Or possibly beyond.
Have you tried Mr. Porky Prime Cut Scratchings? Do you work for Red Mill Snack Foods? Then do, please, leave a comment here with your corrections, opinions, requests and recommendations.