When I was a child in Mississippi, my family owned an enormous cast-iron pot with four small “legs”. It was used in my infancy to render pork fat, which was used for almost all the frying needs in the kitchen. When the fat was rendered, the crisp, crunchy, solid pieces were broken into pieces and eaten, to the great delight of young and old alike. These pieces were known as cracklin’s or, to use the dictionary spelling, cracklings. One of the greatest uses for them was in the preparation of cracklin’ bread. Cracklin’s are sold today in plastic bags, but they taste awfully commercial. You can make acceptable cracklin’s by rendering store-bought pork fat in your home.
© 1987 Craig Claiborne estate. All rights reserved.