Snack Review: Lowrey’s Microwavable Pork Rinds
When it comes to foods people feel passionate about, bacon tops the list.
Nevermind its traditional role as a breakfast side, burger topper, or fat of choice for millions of chefs and chef wannabes, but bacon has – pardon the pun – absolutely saturated the foodie world. Think about it: we have bacon salt. Baconnaise. Heck, Bacon cupcakes are even all the rage these days.
Frankly, I’ve never gotten it, and have long found bacon to be overrated.
That is until now.
Let me explain. A while back, the fine folks at Oberto Sausage and Meat sent me some jerky to try. Longtime readers will remember my impressions of their BBQ Pork Jerky, but among the other products they sent me was a sample from another company owned by Oberto, Lowry’s Meat Snacks. The product, you ask? Microwavable Pork Rinds. That’s right friends, bacon meets popcorn.
I was skeptical. I am, as many of you know, something of a health freak. Before the other night I had never even tried a regular pork rind (also known as a ‘crackling’), much less one that came from a microwavable bag. Yet struck by a youthful spirit of sodium content be damned, I finally decided to break open my microwavable bag and give these bad boys a try.
All I can say is giddyup.
The bacon/pork aroma was not only pronounced but intense, giving off the unmistakable aroma of sizzling pork fat as the bag expanded in the microwave. I say ‘expanded’ because these things don’t pop, so watching the bag carefully and following the instructions are key. I actually think I undercooked the bag, as half of my cracklings did not expand to the full size.
Still, those which did (and those which did not) were incredibly flavorful. As someone who has never really appreciated the flavor of pork fat/bacon/whatever you wanna call it, I found the experience new and eye-opening. Yes, the preeminent flavor was salt, but I didn’t feel that it detracted from the actual taste, which was both meaty and fatty without being oily or chewy. Texture wise, these were superb. They are super airy and light, and amazingly they lack the grease which I have previously associated with and hated about bacon. The fully expanded pieces have a cheetoes-like crispiness, while the smaller pieces had a crunch almost like a kettle potato chip. In all seriousness, I could have devoured a kiddie-sized pool of these things. They were just that good.
While the ingredient list on these is likely to give the whole “BlogHer” crowd nightmares (see: Pork Rinds, Salt, Maxtrin, Monosodium Glutamate, Flags, Dextrin), you could still do much worse from a nutritional angle. Heck, after all, each bag is only 210 calories and 7 grams of fat, which for my money buys you the single best salty snack experience I have ever had, like, ever. And if you feel bad about the ridiculously high sodium content? Just do like I did and eat a kiwi fruit afterwards.
Pros: Bacon flavored goodness in the microwave. No grease. 60% less fat than regular pork rinds. A truly ridiculous amount of PROTEIN. Only 3.5 carbs per bag. Great balance of crispness and crunch. I seriously have no idea why I like these so much, but they made a bacon believer out of me.
Cons: Likely just elevated me to pre-hypertension status. Hard to find in stores. Excuse me while I’m bouncing off the walls.
Price: $15.19 for Pack of 18 Bags at Amazon.com
Overall GrubGrade: 9.25/10
More Info: ObertoSausageCompany.com
Servings Per Bag: 3.5
Total Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Total Carbs: Less than 1g