Behind the Product: Chicharron Salt293
with Mike Johnston
Bacon Behind the Product Chasing BBQ Chicharron Salt Pork
It's finally time to reveal our latest product and we're so excited about it, we're declaring August 17th National Chicharron Day in its honor! But the concept for Chicharron Salt wasn't built in a day...
A few years back, the Bacon Salt craze consumed the culinary world and we started getting a lot of requests from customers for it. Typically, when this happens I try to jump right on it and create a great new product to supply the demand. So that’s what I did.
The first thing I do when I’m trying to create a new blend based on a pre-existing concept is to get my hands on some, taste it, and see what all the fuss is about. After a quick Google search, I had a few different bacon salts headed my way. When they arrived, I eagerly popped them open and gave them a taste. That is when my bacon salt bubble burst. I guess I just assumed others would use real bacon, but it was clear from the chemical aftertaste on my tongue that they hadn’t.
As a kid growing up in the 70’s, I remember bacon bits, and to be honest, I loved them! I liked the salty crunch so I loaded spoonful after spoonful of those little bright red nuggets onto my thousand island dressing-soaked salad bar salad during those big nights out at the Sizzler Steakhouse.
But as an adult trying to create a new seasoning, I hated them. That said, I ordered some bacon bits to see if there was a way that I could flavor my way around that chemical taste. There wasn’t, so I shelved it. In my head, I knew I’d come back to it as I’ve done before with other blends. Tikka Masala, now one of our top selling curries, had to be shelved a few times before I got it exactly right.
When I was in the Carolinas chasing BBQ a couple summers ago I ran into fresh batches of pork rinds offered for sale at most of the whole hog joints. I loved these fresh cracklins (a southern term for pork rinds or chicharonnes)! They were light and airy with a nice fresh crunch. They were even better when I hit them with the local hot pepper vinegar sauce...and that’s when the light bulb went on in my head. Screw the bacon salt, I’m going to create Chicharron Salt!
Back in the test kitchen, with spice particles in the air, I mixed up a few concoctions. I liked the idea of a chicharron salt, but I also made batches of bacon salt using real dehydrated bacon. I played with another fun idea, jerky salt, using real beef jerky. My trusted spice tasters debated which one they liked best and what might need to be tweaked. But when I got the idea to create a dry version of our Hot Pepper Vinegar BBQ Sauce and mix it into the chicharron salt, we had a unanimous decision.
Then I got cold feet. I’m confident in our seasoning making capabilities around here, but we never really had to deal with a meat product that has a shelf life.
After some due diligence and approval from the USDA, sourcing a vinegar product that works as a preservative to increase the shelf life and passing a 12-month shelf life test with the Colorado State University Food Processing Lab, my concerns were alleviated. Meaty, tangy, spicy goodness was on the way!
Because we are using a real pork product in this seasoning, we’ve chosen to only offer it in a prepackaged, foil-lined container. It’s 6-ounce size is a fair amount of product, but my guess is that it won’t last long because it is so good on and in so many different things. Here’s a list of recipes to get you started and some ideas for what to sprinkle it on (hint: anything!):
- Chicharron Salt Crusted Trout: Inspired by my camping and fishing trips, where Chicharron Salt was the perfect companion.
- Salted Watermelon Slushie: Our spin on salted watermelon, only as a drink with a Chicharron Salt rim.
- Avocado Tempura: A quick-to-prepare, crispy snack dusted with Chicharron Salt.
- Chicharron Coconut Macadamia Ice Cream: We had a blast creating all kinds of sweet & salty recipes, including this refreshing treat.
- Chicharron Salted Caramel Cookies: This might be the most requested recipe to come out of the test kitchen since the salt launched.
Try a sprinkle on:
- Avocado halves
- Caprese salad (tomato, mozzarella & basil)
- Cantaloupe (for a play on the classic combo of melon & prosciutto)
- Corn on the cob
- French fries
- Grilled fish
- Shrimp skewers
- Mac & cheese
- Deviled eggs (or eggs any style!)
- Ice cream
- Chocolate (use it to top homemade chocolate bark or truffles)
I’m excited for you to try our new Chicharron Salt and hope that you find it as amazing as we do. Who knows, if it does well, maybe we’ll circle back to Jerky Salt and Bacon Salt (using real bacon, of course) in the near future! You can purchase Chicharron Salt online or in stores at a special introductory price of $8.95 now through September 17, 2017 (regular price $9.95).
As always, thank you for your loyal patronage and I welcome your feedback,
Chicharron Salt in the Press:
“Savory’s Chicharron Salt is already a staple at my house. We eat it on everything: blistered shishitos, fried eggs, cantaloupe, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado…everything.” — Amanda M. Faison, 5280 Magazine Contributor
Savory Spice Releases New Chicharron Salt - Denver Life Magazine