Reviewed by Louise Totton
Pork Cracking – not exactly the healthiest and virtuous snack, is it? It’s literally the fat and skin of Porky Pig, fried in oil and coated in salt. We all know we shouldn’t, we know it’s wrong and that we should instead be feasting upon carrot sticks and celery. But the problem is, it’s just so very good! And anyway, when was the last time you heard anyone say, “I could murder a bit of lettuce”? It just doesn’t happen, and a little bit of what you fancy is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.
I have long been a lover of those little bags of salty goodness – they’ve always been my snack of choice from behind the bar at the pub, and I will admit to judging establishments who do not stock them rather harshly. I have tended to see them as a bit of an old man’s snack – those tiny bags pretty much only come in one flavour and they’re a bit of a guilty secret – if I’m honest I wouldn’t admit to how much I liked them to anyone other than another porky lover. That is until I discovered The Snaffling Pig Company – true connoisseurs of the humble scratching and bringing it bang up to date.
The Snaffling Pig Company sell pork cracking, pork scratchings and pork crunch, the difference being how many times they are cooked and at what temperature. In simple terms, the scratchings are cooked once and are the harder ones that can endanger your expensive dental work, crackling is cooked twice so it’s a little lighter and more puffed, so is less of a danger to the teeth and pork crunch is cooked twice at a higher temperature, resulting in something that is basically a pork / Quaver hybrid. The Snaffling Pig’s offerings are bringing these porky treats right into the 21st century with some fantastic and unusual flavours, as well gift sets, pork subscriptions and even a Snaffling advent calendar!
Being a massive fan of chilli and spice, I opted for the Hot Stuff Pork Crackling Gift Set, a set of three 90g jars of crackling in Sweet Chilli, Hot to Trot Habanero and Pig of Doom flavours. The jars are reusable plastic jars with a Kilner-style fastening, and it is presented in a lovely cardboard gift box, making it an ideal present. This one is also gluten free, which is fabulous for me as I do tend to struggle with a lot of savoury snack products. Snaffling Pig isn’t a fully gluten free company, so you will have to check the website, but the gluten free products are clearly marked, and there’s plenty of them to pick from.
I have no words for these delicious savoury bites, except WOW! They are utterly amazing, and I haven’t been able to stop snaffling them since they arrived. A 90g jar doesn’t sound massive, but because they are so light and airy, it’s actually a very decent size. The three flavours in the set we were set are quite stunning – all spicy, but all in a different way. The Sweet Chilli ones are the mildest and whilst they still have a bit of a kick, the chilli is tempered by the sweetness and they would suit most taste buds. The Hot to Trot Habanero are my favourites by a long way – these ones pack quite a punch and are perfect for genuine spice lovers. They have a wonderful warm spice; yes, they are chilli hot, but it’s a nice rounded, toasty heat and they are beyond moreish – absolutely delicious! Finally, is the Pig of Doom, and these little porkers are not for the faint of heart! They are searingly spicy – I like my spice but these are on another level entirely. The first one I had mustn’t have had a full coating of seasoning on which lulled me into a false sense of security – I went for a couple more in quick succession and within seconds had developed a serious case of the hiccups! They are fabulous, but in small portions, or even as a game of piggy roulette with some less intense flavours!
I have absolutely loved trying these out and have completely fallen in love with them. I could honestly eat them all day and have even been trying to convince myself that as they are gluten free, high protein, MSG free and that maybe the chilli could even count towards my five-a-day, they’re practically a health food. This with the reusable plastic jars and cardboard packing makes them a great choice for the health-conscious, eco-friendly amongst us, surely?
The many different options that Snaffling Pig offer mean that there is something for nearly everyone, be it gift sets, individual bags as stocking fillers, sets with sauces, beers and condiments, as well as the advent calendars and subscriptions. They make a superb gift idea – something that little bit different and, for me at least, far more enjoyable than the standard boxes of chocolate or smellies.
For more information or to buy visit www.snafflingpig.co.uk.