Pork Rinds – HG’s Favorite Health Food.

April 17th, 2013 § 0 comments

Good news. A health magazine recently reported that pork rinds are a (relatively) healthy food. Yes, plenty of fat in these bits of fried pork skins but its a good kind of fat and the skins contain plenty of beneficial oelic acid. Since HG likes to scatter some pork rinds over a bowl of green chili stew the happy report caused HG to muse over other (not so healthy) fried favorites. When HG used to visit the streets of the Washington Heights section of Manhattan (lots of Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Cubans lived there) HG would often drop into one of the plain spoken restaurants for a favorite meal: Moros y Cristianos ( Moors and Christians–black beans and rice topped with chopped raw onions) and a bowl of Chicharrones (fried pork fat, a by product of lard production). When in a hurry, HG would buy a snack at a Cuchifrito. A Cuchifrito is a colorfully decorated rolling cart that sells freshly made fried foods. (“Cuchifrito” also refers to a whole range of fried pork dishes served in Puerto Rican restaurants). HG remembers with fondness the baccalitos (salt cod pancakes) and rellenos de papas (fried mashed potato balls stuffed with meat or cheese) dispensed by a little cart near St. Nicholas Avenue. However, when HG explores the fried food HG memory bank, the taste standout is old fashioned fried chicken skin (fried in chicken fat, of course) that HG’s Mom cooked while she was rendering schmaltz (chicken fat). A favorite HG childhood sandwich was two slices of Pechter’s Pumpernickel Bread enhanced with an abundance of chicken fat, fried onions and a load of fried chicken skin (gribenes.) Serve a youngster that dish today and it’s off to jail you’ll go for impairing the health of a minor. HG has learned that the Second Avenue Delicatessen in New York (the new one in the East 30’s–the revered old one on Second Avenue closed following a rent dispute) serves a free “amuse bouche” of gribenes. Must indulge on next New York visit.

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