February 08, 2010
Merwin: Pigskins...Delicious and Productive
By John Merwin
While watching the Super Bowl last night, I got pigskin fever. Pigskin, I recalled, is an old term for a football. Then my addled brain tumbled in sequence to fried pork skins, which are a fantastic snack food.
Like me, you’ve probably fished with pig skins also. Who among you hasn’t rigged a bass jig with an Uncle Josh pork frog or tipped a Johnson’s Silver Minnow with a strip of cured white rind?
Uncle Josh used to make fried skins, too, as people food instead of bass food. But for some reason I can’t find them online any more. So maybe they decided fish bait is better business and quit that sideline.
And that all reminded me of closely-related pork cracklings, the crispy brown bits you get when rendering pork lard or frying down strips of salt pork. As a little kid on family camping trips, I distinctly remember to this day the sounds and smells of frying salt pork as my mother cooked it on a big griddle over a fire, thereby extracting enough grease to then fry some smallmouth bass fillets. I hung around for the cracklings, although the fish were pretty good, too.
Thinking about all that just about drove me nuts last night, and I almost drove into town at halftime, hoping against hope that I might find some fried skins. But I didn’t. The reason I didn’t is because I’m on a diet and trying to lose a little weight. Being on a diet is driving me crazy. As if you couldn't tell....