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Chicharon [Chicharones]: In Latin America And The Philippines

Chicharónes is very popular in Andalusia, Spain, Latin America and the Philippines. It is part of the traditional cuisines of Guatemala, Belize, Bolivia, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Colombia, Panama, Brazil (where it is called torresmo), Peru, and the Philippines. The singular form, chicharón, is also used as a mass noun, especially in the Philippines. They are usually made with different cuts of pork, but sometimes made with mutton. In Puerto Rico chicharones 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, chicharones 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. Chicharon de Puerco is considered in Mexico as a top quality snack, it could be found anywere, chicharon de cerdo is distributed by many different salty snacks companies like Sabritas SA de R L.

In The Philippines,  It is usually eaten with vinegar mixed with salt, garlic and hot 'Labuyo'chilis. It is also used as a main ingredient in food such as Pancit Palabok, Pancit Malabon and La Paz Batchoy. There are many different kinds of chicharon in the Philippines, aside from the traditional pork chicharon, they also have chicken skin chicharon, chicharon bulaklak (flower) which is made of cows intestines and when cooked it looks similar to a flower, hence the name, and Chicken intestine chicharon is also popular . Here, chicharon is usually eaten as "Tapas" or what Filipinos called "Pulutan", accompanied with beer or other alcoholic drinks.

In Bolivia, chicharon 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 chicharon 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.

Source: The Wikipedia
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