I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I like food made out of pigs.
I was raised almost exclusively on pork chops, Phil (Baconhound, himself) introduced me to other cuts like loins and butts*, and I have even thoroughly enjoyed tasty treats comprised of both a pig’s face, and the whole head.
And then there’s bacon. Bacon is really good, y’all.
So, on holidays, when Phil and I noticed chicharrones on a happy hour menu, we had to try them.
We had tried chicharrones before, as a gift from the kitchen at CHARCUT, and they were wonderfully, crispy bits of porky goodness. We don’t see them offered very often so we couldn’t wait to give these morsels another nibble.
But what was placed on the table between us was not the small, crispy chicharrones we had experienced before.
These were…pork rinds.
I don’t know what it is about pork rinds that have just never appealed to me, and I have to admit that I’d never actually tried them before because the very sight of them turns me off.
So when I looked at the container, my heart fell and my stomach turned.
But I was on holidays, and Phil always gives me grief for saying I don’t like things that I have never tasted, and pork has surprised me before (did I mention the pig face?!?) so I dug in.
Instead of nibbling off a tiny edge to start like any sane person would do, I grabbed a big, fluffy nugget and bit off half.
I chewed once, twice…and heaved.
I told myself to not be silly, it was chewy, fluffy bacon…there’s nothing bad about that. Besides I can eat week-old, leftover KD smothered in ketchup without even blinking an eye…a pork rind should not be a problem. I chewed again.
And I full-on gagged.
A little bit of my bile-infused pomegranate mojito came back up to add to the flavour party happening in my mouth.
I dropped the other half of the pork rind and looked across the table at Phil with panic in my eyes as he frowned down at his own fluffy pork nugget.
“What’s wrong?” he asked me, “you don’t like it?”
I slowly shook my head as I went over my options:
a) I could spit out the chewed-up, bile-coated chunk of pork into a napkin and leave it for the waitress
b) I could make a dash to the fancy bathroom and hurl it into my simulated-candle lit safe place
c) I could keep on chewing and hope for the best
So that’s what I did. All the while staring right at Phil, willing abdominal fortitude from his confused gaze.
Then I beared down and swallowed.
That nasty fried rind tried to fight its way back out but, in one of my proudest moments, I held strong.
Because I’m a true warrior, like that.
*there’s a joke in there, somewhere