The almighty but lethal deep fried piece of fat


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Chicharrón with arepa Antioqueña from Andres Carne de Res

The deep fried pork, skin on, with layers of fat and meat, is synonymous with gratification, joy, and indulgence. To be precise, the essence is in the skin. Without the skin it doesn’t get qualified to be called chicharrón.

It has a determinedly solid status in the hearts of Colombians. The dish was propagated by the Spaniards during their imperial era. So, actually, not only Colombians love it, but it is popular among all the countries where the Spaniards had set foot on. So, needless to say, the whole Latin America consumes it (and also let’s not forget Philippines).

Chicharrón can come in many different sizes and shapes. They can come with layers of fat and meat, in cubes, like the ones above. Or they can be just pieces of crunchy skin, which can be grudgingly addictive.. Or you’d have a long thin slice of crispy skin to hold on to, and eat it like a piece of hand-cut chip in a kid-like way. Anyway whatever way it comes in, nothing beats skin and fat. It’s just like butter, right?

Although regular consumption can mean a gradual suicide, its popularity has not quivered. Given its heavy-weight on the Colombian menu, and the easy, bite-size, finger food reputation, it’s a regular member on the party table. Men will relentlessly, unreservedly binge on it, whilst women take a more conscious note, carefully count their intake and go for their timid share.

When served on a freshly grilled metal plate with freshly squeezed lime juice that vaporises the aroma, it’s just all too good for a Friday night snack with a beer, or for ladies, a frozen Pina Colada that’s ‘Colombianised’ with vanilla ice-cream and guanábana. My God. Decadence is on its way.

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10 comments

  1. […] the Colombians eat their lovely deep fried fat, they thought, ‘What would go best with that? Ok, let’s fry up some intestines to go with […]

  2. How interesting, thanks for sharing!

  3. […] patacón ‘pizza’ served with hand-painted a metal containers offering frijoles, guacamole, chicharrón, hogao (a tomato salsa) and cheese […]

  4. In the US, the ones pictured above are referred to as “Cracklins” and used a lot in cracklin’ cornbread. A lot of truck stops here carry the pork skins…each piece being very large. I use to eat them while driving a truck to help stay awake. You can’t fall asleep eating those noisy things… especially the ones hard enough to break teeth. 🙂 Either way, love’em. 😉

    1. hahaha! yes! I know what you mean! hahaha

      You can also buy them here in packages to go from supermarkets in case anyone gets bored while driving!

      1. They do have a way of keeping ones attention. They are wonderful to with Louisiana hot sauce or that (I forget what it is called) super hot red Asian hot sauce.

      2. Thanks for the tip! Never thought about that – I would have just used mustard! Will definitely try!

  5. […] Candy apples and pumpkin pies are still not consumed.. We’re still having bbq parties with chicarron and […]

  6. […] they come out as Spanish. This means Kool & The Gang’s Get Down On It becomes chicharrones con calzones (deep fried pork belly and underwear..), Air Supply’s Making Love Out of […]

  7. […] it’s not sudado, then you will eat your chicharron, potatoes, yuca or patacon with a sauce called hogao, or salsa criolla (local sauce), which is […]

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