King of the South
Cracklins rule throughout the South. They are the star ingredient in many cornbreads; they are fantastic strewn into a barbecue sandwich at Perry’s Pig in Augusta, GA; and they are a featured attraction at the all-you-can-eat buffet at Dukes of Aiken, SC. In Cajun Louisiana, cracklins are as popular a snack as boudin sausage. In fact, every butcher who slaughters hogs to make boudin naturally has plenty of material to make cracklin’s, which are vigorously infused with hot pepper and sold by the bagful.
Hot, crisp, salty pork fat: could there be anything more recklessly sybaritic? At first bite, they shatter, and there may be a few striations of chewy meat (like deep fried bacon), but after that first crunch and a chaw or two, cracklins dissolve into a slurry of pork and seasoning without peer in the world of snack foods. These four south Louisiana butcher shops are exemplary sources.
The Best Cracklin
- It would be wrong to leave Jerry Lee’s Kwik Shop without picking up a bag or two of cracklins. They are so crisp and full of pork flavor that you could call them elegant.
- Andre’s Cajun Cracklins serves some excellent melt-in-your-mouth pork cracklins. They also have chicken cracklins that are somehow even richer than their pork counterparts.
- A variety of local foods are sold at Bourque’s Supermarket including chicken hearts, hog jowls and tripes. We skipped all of these and headed to the back of the store where delicious store-made cracklins are sold.
- T-Boy’s Slaughterhouse is a local butcher shop that sells great meats. The Boudin is made with a full measure of livre which makes it delicious and keeps the meat from drying out. No southern butcher would be complete without cracklin, T’Boy’s is some of the best.