|Country of origin:||Spain|
|Region or state:||Andalusia|
|Serving temperature:||Hot or cold|
|Other information:|| Popular throughout: |
Chicharrón (also torresmo) is a dish made of fried pork rinds. It is sometimes made from chicken, mutton, or beef.
Chicharrón is popular in Andalusia, Spain, and in Latin America is part of the traditional cuisines of Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil (where it is called torresmo), Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Venezuela, and others. The singular form, chicharrón, is also used as a mass noun, especially in the Philippines where words do not have a pluralized form. They are usually made with different cuts of pork, but sometimes made with mutton. In Puerto Rico chicharrones are also made with chicken, in Argentina with beef, and in Peru with chicken or fish.
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 pupusas, or as the meat portion of various stews and soups.
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.
In Peru, chicharrones 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.
The cueritos type are also made with pork skin and marinated in vinegar instead of deep fried. They are eaten as a snack.
In Mexico, snack-food company Barcel has commercialized a vegetarian version with chile and lime flavorings since the 1980s. Chicharron de Puerco and chicharron de cerdo are distributed by many salty snack companies in Mexico.
In the Philippines, tsitsaron, as it is spelled in Filipino (chicharon is now an acceptable variant term, a derivative of the Spanish word chicharrón) is usually eaten with vinegar or with bagoong, lechon liver sauce, or pickled papaya called atchara. Tsitsarong manok, made from chicken skin, is also popular.
In Bolivia, chicharron 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 chicharron is normally served only on Sundays and is eaten with llajua, a tomato salsa, and mote, a type of corn. There are other variations of chicharron made with chicken and fish.
In the Dominican Republic chicharrones, specially 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, soy sauce 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.
In the United States, chicharrones are usually made from pig skin. It is usually sold alone in plastic bags as a snack food item to be eaten on its own.