Porkless Pork Rinds: A Spicy Vegan Surprise

Have you ever come across a product that left you completely astonished? Well, that’s exactly how I felt when I stumbled upon Trader Joe’s Spicy Porkless Plant-Based Snack Rinds. I mean, vegan pork rinds? What on earth?

Before we dive into this intriguing snack, let’s take a moment to understand what a traditional pork rind is. It’s deep-fried pork skin, resulting in a crispy crackling piece that’s crunchier than stale granola. Undeniably, it’s a delight for carnivores. But who would have thought that you could recreate this experience without any animal products?

Trader Joe’s took a twist on the classic pork rind by crafting a rind-esque shape using rice meal and pea powder. Then, they baked them to perfection. The result? Something that is reminiscent of pork rinds, but entirely porkless. It’s a brave attempt to imitate the un-vegan.

Let’s talk about the crunch. Well, truth be told, it’s not quite there. Instead, you’ll find a rather soft bite. However, if you prefer a crunchier texture, you can simply leave the bag open for a day or two to let them stale up a bit.

Now, let’s address the aftertaste. After the initial spice burns off, you might expect a savory sensation similar to that of a real pork rind. However, that’s where things take a different turn. The flavor tends to lean towards an earthy meh-ness. No matter how hard you try, rice and peas simply cannot replicate the unique taste of meat. But hey, it’s worth giving them credit for their attempt.

But here’s the real highlight—the spice blend. It’s outstanding! With hints of vinegar, cayenne, a pinch of habanero, as well as the flavors of onion and garlic, this snack carries a fiery kick. It’s hot, spicy, and incredibly tasty. The seasoning alone is enough to make you reach for more, regardless of what you’d normally put it on.

Further reading:  The Truth Behind Kirkland Pulled Pork

Maybe instead of trying to imitate traditional pork rinds, Trader Joe’s could have given these pig-free poppers a name that highlights their own unique qualities. “Rice and pea snacks” or something catchier could have worked. Then again, perhaps using the term “rinds” was a deliberate choice to draw comparisons. But let’s not forget, you don’t always need to compare yourself to others to stand out. Just be yourself.

In conclusion, Trader Joe’s Spicy Porkless Plant-Based Snack Rinds may not be a perfect replica of pork rinds. However, they offer a spicy and flavorful experience that sets them apart. Give them a try, and who knows? You might find yourself pleasantly surprised. For me, I’d rate them at a solid 6 out of 10 Golden Spoons.

snack rinds

Image source: Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ