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Pull Out The Pork Rinds For An Elevated Chips And Dip Experience

Top-down view of a plate of pork rinds
Top-down view of a plate of pork rinds - Hayaship/Getty Images

Skip the potato chips and scoop up your favorite chip dips with savory pork rinds instead. Pork rinds (not to be confused with cracklins) are made from thin-sliced pork skins, which are then boiled or slow-cooked to dehydrate. The cooking reduces the pork skin to about ¼ of its original size, and from there, it's deep-fried in peanut oil, vegetable oil, or lard to puff up and become crispy. Pork rinds are a low-carb snack that's also high in good fats and protein. They're a staple at gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery retailers and are easy to find in the chip aisle.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, they enjoy a steadfast (and recently growing) fanbase in the U.S., Mexico, Peru, Thailand, and across Central and South America. Some foodies in Mexico regularly use pork rinds (aka chicharrones) instead of chips for dipping in salsa and guacamole. Salty, savory pork rinds would also provide a delicious contrast to sweeter, fruitier dips like peach or pineapple salsa. Bonus points if you pair the snack with a frozen mango habanero margarita on a hot summer day.

The deep, savory pork crisps taste like bacon chips. But the real appeal is that, despite their meaty flavor, these bite-sized pork skin curls are airy instead of oily -- making them perfect for complementing your favorite dips without overpowering them. It's time to take your snacking game to the next level.

Read more: The 15 Healthiest Chip Brands, Ranked From Worst To Best

Adiós, Tortilla Chips!

A plate of pork rinds
A plate of pork rinds - Sergio Hayashi/Shutterstock

Pork rinds would be delicious dipped in homemade queso, especially queso fundido with spicy chorizo. For an extra luscious, rich snack, you could try dipping your pork rinds in creamy Buffalo chicken dip. Or, steer the profile sweeter by swapping the Buffalo sauce for sriracha and adding honey for an ultra-complex flavor. Pork rinds are also the perfect savory scooper for your next casserole dish of jalapeño popper dip (jalapeño slices, cream cheese, green chilis, and bread crumbs) or Reuben dip (corned beef, sauerkraut, mayo, and melted Swiss cheese).

You can use pork rinds as a salty vehicle for a warm, melty cheeseburger dip with ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, pickle relish, and Thousand Island dressing. The meaty chip is also super yummy in creamy French onion dip. You could even take this classic potato chip dip a step further and turn it into "loaded potato chip dip" by adding freshly crumbled bacon bits and scallions -- all scooped up with pork rinds, of course. For a fresher, brighter take, you could set out a tray of sour cream dill dip with a bowl of chicharrones and some cucumber slices at a pool party.

In addition to the "classic" variety, many manufacturers season their pork rinds with different flavors like barbecue, salt and vinegar, or chili. Feel free to experiment with different flavor options as you brainstorm complementary dip pairings. You could even use crispy, puffy pork rinds as the foundation on which to build the ultimate loaded nachos.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.