|Place of origin||Spain|
|Region or state||Andalusia|
|Serving temperature||Hot or cold|
Popular throughout: |
Andalucia, Latin America
|Cookbook: Chicharrón Media: Chicharrón|
Chicharrón (Spanish pronunciation: [t?it?a'ron], Andalusian pronunciation: [?i?a'ron], Portuguese: Torresmo [tu'?e?mu] or [to'?ezmu], Filipino: tsitsaron, Chamorro: chachalon) is a dish generally consisting of fried pork belly or fried pork rinds; chicharrón may also be made from chicken, mutton, or beef.
Chicharrón is popular in Andalusia, Spain, and in Latin America and other countries with Spanish influence. It is part of the traditional cuisines of Bolivia, Portugal (where it is called torresmo), Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and others. The singular form, chicharrón, is also used as a mass noun, especially in Filipino, in which stand-alone plurals do not exist. They are usually made with different cuts of pork, but sometimes are made with mutton. In Costa Rica, they are usually made from pork ribs or similar cuts rather than rinds; it is also used in the traditional dish "chifrijo".
The pork rind type is the skin of the pork after it has been seasoned and deep fried. In Mexico, they are eaten in a taco or gordita with salsa verde. In Latin America, they are eaten alone as a snack, with cachapas, as a stuffing in arepas or Salvadoran pupusas, or as the meat portion of various stews and soups.
Bolivia - Chicharrón is made out of pork ribs seasoned with garlic, oregano and lemon. It is boiled then cooked in its own fat, adding beer or chicha to the pot for more flavor. Pork chicharrón is normally served only on Sundays and is eaten with llajwa, a tomato salsa, and mote, a type of corn. There are other variations of chicharrón made with chicken and fish.
Colombia - Chicharrón is made from deep-fried pig skin with pork, though it can also be made from chicken skin. In the Caribbean Coast it is eaten along with bollo de yuca, bollo limpio or boiled yuca at breakfast at home or at any time of the day at restaurants. It is eaten chopped as a stuffing in arepas. In Córdoba it is also prepared in sancocho. It is also part of bandeja paisa, a typical dish of Antioquia.
Chile - Chicharrones are made of meat fat, and are typically served with homemade bread.
Costa Rica - Chicharrones are made by frying pork (usually rib) in fat and are associated with several dishes. Most ticos usually eat them with lime juice (but preferably rangpur) and fried yuca accompanied by tortillas. It is also a main ingredient in a popular dish called "chifrijo" which also combines red beans, rice, and "pico de gallo". Another popular dish in Costa Rican cuisine that includes chicharrones is the "vigorón".
Denmark -"Flæskesvær" is pork skin deep fried with or without a layer of fat. It is usually eaten like snack like crisps or popcorn. At Christmas time it is also normal to eat pork belly with crispy pork skin on and eat them with the meat or save it to eat it by it self .
Dominican Republic - Chicharrón, especially chicken chicharrón (also known as pica-pollo), are usually eaten with tostones. The way to prepare it is by washing and drying chicken and cutting it into small pieces, which are seasoned with a mix of lemon juice and salt. The batter is made from flour, pepper, paprika and salt in plastic bag, in which the seasoned meat is then placed and shaken. Pieces are deep-fried (without removing excess flour) until crisp and golden.
Guatemala - A simple pleasure in Guatemalan cuisine is eating chicharrón with tortilla, some salt, and maybe a pickled Jalapeño pepper. Also known as "carnitas" in Guatemala, these refer to a meatier part of the pork rind. Where a chicharrón is, strictly speaking, more the skin part of the pig, carnitas denotes a skin with some meat as well.
Mexico - Besides chicharrón made from pig skin, snack-food companies Barcel and Sabritas have commercialized vegetarian versions with chile and lemon flavorings since the 1980s. Chicharrón de cerdo are also distributed by many salty snack companies in Mexico, sold in supermarkets, and made and sold in markets, tianguis and street vendors. Tacos de chicharrón (chicharrón wrapped in a tortilla, with some avocado, creamy cheese (such as queso panela, queso blanco or queso fresco), and sometimes, hot sauce) are popular as snacks, appetizers or main dish. Popular dishes that make use of chicharrón as main ingredient are chicharrón in salsa verde and gorditas de chicharrón.
Peru - Chicharrón in Perú is made using what is called "country-style pork rib" in the US. The rind is not used at all. The meat is boiled with seasonings and spices until no water remains, and then fried in its own fat. It is often served as a breakfast or brunch food on a baguette with a relish made of red onion and lime juice. Chicharrón can be eaten as an appetizer or snack, and the chicken variant can taste like fried chicken found in the United States. Sides include a kind of red onion relish, fried yuca, and other regional variants. Chicharrón can also be prepared with fish rather than pork.
Philippines - Chicharon is ubiquitous as it is a well-loved snack, and may be bought anywhere, from large supermarket chains to sari-sari stores, and even from vendors on foot. It is popular as pulutan or finger food, to be eaten while consuming alcoholic beverages. It is also used as a topping on many native vegetable and noodle dishes. Pork chicharon is prepared by deep-frying dried pork rind with a little salt. It may be dipped in coconut vinegar spiced with soy sauce, chopped garlic and labuyo, or eaten with other condiments like bagoong, lechon liver sauce, or atchara. Aside from pork rind, chicken skin may also be made into chicharong manok, whereas chicharong bulaklak--literally 'flower chicharrón', named for its distinctive shape--is made from pig mesentery. In anatomy, mesentery refers to the fold of the peritoneum (membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen) attaching the stomach, small intestine and other organs to the posterior wall of the abdomen. However, the word mesentery usually refers to the small bowel mesentery, a fold of tissue which anchors the small intestine to the back of the abdominal wall. It is the thin, web-like structure that supports the small intestine while allowing for the changes in their size and position. When the intestine is detached from this mesentery, the outside thin part of the latter forms a frill or ruffled-like ornament resembling a flower, hence the name of the meat and dish. Tuna skin chicharon is marketed as a healthier variation. In Cagayan, water buffalo hide is used to make "Carabao Chicharon". 
Puerto Rico - Chicharrón de pollo is popular around the island. Chicken is marinated in rum, lemon juice, tabasco, and seasoning. The chicken is then tossed in flour, rice flour and tapioca flour that has been seasoned. Mofongo is a popular dish in which green plantains are fried then mashed with chicharrón and other ingredients. Chuleta kan-kan is a popular dish in Puerto Rican fondas. A pork chop (chuleta) with rib, fat, and skin still attached calling this cut chuleta kan-kan. The skin is cut stopping at the meat and marinated. Chuleta kan-kan is then deep-fried ,forming chicharróns on top of the rib and pork chop.
United States - Chicharrón is usually made from pig skin. It is commonly sold in plastic bags as a snack food item and may be referred to as "pork rinds" as well as chicharrones and cracklings. It is made in a two-step process: the pork skin is first rendered and dried, and then fried and puffed. In New Mexico, the term is often taken to mean just fried pork fat, sometimes with incidental bits of lean meat.
Venezuela - In central Venezuela, chicharrones are commonly sold alongside main highways as snacks. The recipe usually produces crispy sizeable portions of pork skin with the underlying meat. The cueritos type are also made with pork skin and marinated in vinegar instead of deep fried. They are eaten as a snack.
Pork rind is also eaten in many other countries, unrelated to the chicharrón tradition.
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