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Pork scratchings—small pieces of crisply cooked pork skin—have recently enjoyed a certain vogue in Britain as pub snacks, but the word is of some antiquity. It is first recorded as long ago as the fifteenth century, and an 1883 issue of Knowledge noted: ‘“Scratchings”—a delicacy greatly relished by our British ploughboys, but rather too rich in pork fat.’ It is not clear where the term comes from, but it may be an alteration of the synonymous, and now obsolete, cratchen and cracon, which are possibly ultimately the same word as crackling.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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