A Pork Scratchings ‘Best Before’ Experiment – Part 1

If you have ever read any of the reviews posted here on this site, we always seem to mention ‘freshness’.
Piece of Advice #1: Pork scratchings should be eaten as fresh as possible. Or as far away from their ‘best before’ date.

Fresh is always best?

Most fresh produce has a fairly short shelf life and is usually fresh when you buy it. I buy stuff from the Morrisons ‘reduced aisle’ all of the time. It’s always fine. I often wing it and eat stuff that’s a bit out of date. If it passes the smell test then I will give it a go. Frankly, if you see ‘Ripen at home’ anything on the reduced shelf… buy them, they will only be one day away from being ready to eat!

There is far too much edible food wasted these days. We are far too lazy.

Dry goods

Crisps and snacks seem to last for months and have rather long best before dates. Usually, they are still fresh right up to the best before date.

Sometimes I have a stale bag of crisps and this only happens when you realise that there was a small hole in the bag, it’s been there for weeks. It’s just one of those things.

But pork scratchings are sort of in-between fresh goods and dry goods. They are fresh produce, but cooked, then packaged and eaten as a snack. Because they are a snack, the best before dates are usually months away.

Notes taken during a pork scratchings review

During our regular pork scratchings reviews, we always check the ‘sell-by’ or ‘best before’ date on the bag.

If the scratchings are coming close to the best before date, and this can sometimes be by as much as 6 weeks away, you would think that they would be OK. Well no, we’ve noticed time and time again that you quite often get a moody bag. Not fresh, when they should be.

Foil bags seem to be able to keep the scratchings fresh for longest. Clear plastic bags next freshest.

So our advice has always been, eat sooner rather than later. Don’t buy scratchings in the sale. They are often short-dated (near the best before date). It’s risky.

Come on… …Let’s take the risk

The other day I noticed an eBay listing. It was offering 12 cards of 10 bags of Midland Snacks Pork Scratchings (45g). That’s 120 bags!
The price was £19.99 (with £7.00 postage). With the postage added, that’s 22.5p per bag. Even with a 50% ‘stale’ rate, these might be worth a punt, After all, Midland Snacks Pork Scratchings are one of the best pork scratchings around!

Then a few days later, I saw the same listing, but this time it had changed, it was an auction, starting at £9.99. Again, with £7.00 postage it’s now a paltry 14.1p per bag!

So I ‘watched’ the listing and thought I’d go back and have another look when the auction was near the end and maybe make a cheeky purchase. Who knows, no one else might be interested.

A few days later

I checked back and the f***ing starting price had gone up to £15.99. This is still a fair price, but it’s very annoying. The person selling the scratchings must have noticed that he had a ‘watcher‘ (me) for this listing. If you sell on eBay and there’s a single watcher on an auction might mean that there will only be one bid. This means that the item will only sell for the starting price, the first bid. He obviously didn’t want to sell them at £9.99 so he put the starting price up halfway through the listing.

I waited until the end of the auction, no one else had bid. So I bid £15.99 and won the auction. I paid the man. Let’s see what happens. Hopefully, they will arrive. Hopefully, most of them will be OK. Some of them will be stale. Let’s see how it goes. Part 2 of this riveting saga is coming soon.

The data

£15.99 + £7.00 = £22.99 for 120 bags.
If they are all OK, then that’s 19.1p per bag
If half are OK, then they go up to 38.3p per bag – Which is still a bargain!

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