Can clouds be crunchy? Can salty porkiness be a cloud? Can . . . can . . . can you have a CLOUD MADE OUT OF PORK? Why yes, paleo friends, you can. Such a thing is actually of this world, and bears the label Galactic Hog Skins, made by our friends at Pre-Made Paleo. The snack food made famous by South Park's Cartman might have been dethroned by these pork rinds that deserve the moniker of Piggy Poofs. If the name doesn't make you smile, your first bite will as the slightly salty and peppery counterpoints melt into sheer bacony bliss on your tongue.
Galactic Hog Skins are basically the best pork rinds you might ever eat. There's one small caveat, of course: if you've spent time in places that revere the pig skin arts like Mexico or the Philippines or anywhere you can get them fresh out of the fryer. Even then it's doubtful the meat is coming from a good source.
Each snarf-worthy bag of hog skins from Pre-Made Paleo uses pork from U.S. Wellness Meats who actually give a hoot about raising sustainable proteins on good land with ethical practices. That's awesome in so many ways, from the nutrition of the pork to the footprint on the land to the health of the animals. It's all good, and it winds up being a delicious treat for us.
Pork is a meat that has wide appeal here in the states. The meat is mild, rarely tough, and bursting with flavorful fat, especially when you get close to the bacony parts like the belly. But pork has had a tough reputation, with less buzz-worthy nutrients as grass-fed beef, and a whole history of bad ethics and land stewardship when large corporations are the 'farmers'.
Enter in US Wellness Meats and their standards for meat, and suddenly we can have pork to feel good about again. Here's what they say about their pigs:
"What do they eat? Pigs are foragers, and most of our pigs are outdoors every day (weather permitting) to forage for bugs, sticks, roots, etc. Since pigs have a single stomach, unlike the four chambered stomach of cattle, we cannot raise a healthy animal on grass alone, so their diets are supplemented with corn and soy. As of January 2016, all our pork products are from pigs fed a non-GMO diet."
Raised in Missouri, the pigs are sourced from a small cooperative of like-minded farmers. They are now using the Global Animal Partnership (GAP) 5-Step rating system. There are five steps in the GAP program, and most of the producers are on the Step 3 and Step 4 levels (enhanced outdoor access and pasture centered). All new producers have to start out with Step 1, which means they cannot use crates, stalls or cages. Most producers actually do have their pigs outdoors, even though this first level does not require it.
How to consume Galactic Hog Skins
Open the package. Then:
In addition to offering their clients awesome snack foods and ingredients, Pre-Made Paleo is primarily a meal delivery service, with the stamp of approval from Whole 30! Here's their story:
"Chef Richard Bradford moved from Connecticut to Atlanta in 1995 to study engineering at Georgia Tech. After finishing undergrad, Chef Richard returned to the Northeast to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. While studying, he worked with Main Course Catering in New Paltz, NY. In 2003, he apprenticed at Disney’s California Grill, in Orlando, Florida.
Upon returning to school, Chef Richard launched his first catering company, Hits the Spot, staffed with fellow CIA students. Hits the Spot provided full service catering to clients in Hudson Valley, Westchester County, and Western Connecticut. After graduating from CIA, he returned to Atlanta and founded RSB Catering. After 7 successful years leading RSB Catering, he sold his company and formed RSB Foods.
RSB Foods, formed in 2012, has a vision to change the way people eat. Led by Chef Richard Bradford, and Chef de Cuisine Amy Crites, RSB developed Pre-Made Paleo Meals. Our brand of gourmet prepared meals adhering to the Paleolithic (or Paleo) Lifestyle. Paleo in its modern application is a lifestyle where we eat only wholesome foods, free of chemically processed ingredients. Also we focus on using grass-fed and free-range antibiotic-free proteins. Paleo by it's principles removes grains, dairy, legumes, and processed sugars from the modern human diet. It is by nature a gluten-free lifestyle that promotes optimal health and performance."
Yes, they are!