Celebrating National Pork Rind Appreciation Day
Every year, on the same day as the Super Bowl, we celebrate National Pork Rind Appreciation Day. It is a day where we pay homage to the pig skin, which was once used to make footballs. The game itself is often referred to as the “pig skin” game, and what better way to celebrate than with the tough and carnivorous snack of pork rinds?
The Health Benefits of Pork Rinds
Pork rinds offer numerous health benefits. They are a rich source of glycine, an essential amino acid that many people lack in their diets. Glycine is important for maintaining healthy skin, joints, and blood stability, as well as promoting good sleep.
Another advantage of pork rinds is their lack of carbohydrates. As we indulge in snacks while watching the Super Bowl, pork rinds make a perfect alternative to carb-heavy options like potato chips, tortilla chips, and crackers. With the increasing popularity of paleo and ketogenic diets, the demand for pork rinds has been on the rise.
Choose Sustainably Sourced Pork Rinds
It is crucial to choose pork rinds that are sustainably sourced. Many brands claim to be paleo or keto-friendly but use factory-farmed pigs or add chemicals to their products. Some even cook their pork rinds in unhealthy omega-6 oils instead of lard. While there is still much to learn about lard, those who enjoy eating pig skins would likely prefer them to be cooked in pig fat.
Thankfully, there are several pork rind brands that prioritize humane sourcing and avoid unnatural and chemical ingredients.
4505 Meats: A Legend in San Francisco
4505 Meats started as a whole-animal meat company in San Francisco in 2009. Chef and butcher Ryan Farr began frying pig skins at home to earn some extra money. Soon, these pig skin snacks, known as “crispy clouds of porkaliciousness,” became legendary in the city. Today, 4505 Meats offers a wide variety of pork rinds, including different flavors of Chicharrones made from the pig’s back and bellies, Cracklins made from the pig’s shoulder with the fat still attached, Crumbles made from pork skins, and a snack mix of Chicharrones, Cracklins, and Whisps Cheese Crisps. Additionally, Ryan operates the restaurant 4505 Burgers & BBQ, where he partners with ranchers who raise their livestock humanely. Ryan is also the author of the books “Sausage Making” and “Whole Beast Butchery.”
EPIC Provisions: From Vegetarians to Animal-Based Diets
EPIC Provisions was founded by Katie Forrest and Taylor Collins. They experienced health issues as vegetarians due to the high-fat, low-carb, soy, and highly processed proteins in their diet. They tried going vegan and raw foodist, but nothing improved. Finally, they turned to the paleo diet inspired by our ancestors’ eating habits, focusing on animal fats, grass-fed protein, and leafy vegetables. Within a few months, they experienced significant improvements in strength, speed, and leanness. However, they couldn’t find pre-packaged nutrient-dense animal products in supermarkets, so they decided to create their own. Thus, EPIC was born, offering 100% grass-fed meat, fruit, and nut bars. Over time, EPIC expanded to include traditional jerkys made from beef, pork, and chicken, including various pork rind flavors.
Field Trip: Changing the Meat Snack World
Field Trip was founded in 2010 by three friends who tasted craft jerky on a ski trip in Vermont and decided to revolutionize the meat snack industry. Their focus was on creating protein-rich, healthy snacks of the highest quality and exceptional taste. Starting with jerky, Field Trip soon expanded to offer pork rinds in flavors like parmesan peppercorn, island BBQ, and sweet chipotle.
Pork King Good: Low Carb and High Protein Snacks
Pork King Good was established in 2018 with a mission to bring low-carb, high-protein snack foods to the market. They take pride in cooking their rinds in pork fat and using clean labels with no artificial ingredients, colors, or flavors. In 2022, Pork King Good was acquired by The Porkie Company of Wisconsin, making it the only woman-owned pork rind manufacturing company in the United States. Pork King Good offers ten different flavors of pork rinds, along with pork rind breadcrumbs, seasonings, pickled eggs, and sausages.
Sonoma Creamery: Quality Cheese and Healthier Snacks
Sonoma Creamery has been inspired by the rich agricultural heritage of Sonoma, CA’s Wine Country since its founding in 1931. They are dedicated to using the best milk and producing the highest quality cheese. Their focus has now shifted to crafting healthier snacks by combining a few simple high-quality ingredients. Sonoma Creamery’s products contain cheese from hormone-free dairy and organic ancient grains. Their Cheese Crisps and Cheese O’s were introduced in 2014, and soon they will be launching their line of pork rinds combined with real cheese.
Now that you know about these fantastic brands and their delicious pork rind options, why not try them out and enjoy the big game with the ultimate pig skin snack?