A Pork Scratchings ‘Best Before’ Experiment – Part 2

To read part 1, Click Here.

So, because you have already read Part 1, we shall continue…

A big box arrived a few days ago.

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Inside were 120 bags of ‘slightly’ past their best before date pork scratchings.

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If you have read any reviews on this site you will know that a bag of scratchings a little near to the best before date should be avoided, so this experiment seems a little stupid. I shall repeat, If the scratchings are within 2 months of their sell-by date (in other words, still have 2 months left before they reach the sell-by date), there’s a fair chance that one of the ten bags you buy will be stale.

What am I going to do? How am I going to get through these?

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The scratchings are only small 45g bags. A 60g bag is a nice size for a single sitting. A 90g bag is a big bag for a single sitting.

I have a feeling that they won’t all be nice. So I decided that I would ‘try’ 3 bags at a time, 3 bags per day, 3 bags per sitting. Let’s see how it goes.

My thinking was, that if two bags are OK, then I have eaten 90g of pork scratchings, which is the size of a big bag. No need for bag number three, I can eat that tomorrow. But if one of the first two bags of scratchings is bad then I have the third bag ready and waiting, in reserve. If two bags are bad then I may only be eating one bag on that day. And then if all three bags are bad, and this happens a lot, with ‘out of date’ pork scratchings, then things are not looking good for my ‘investment’.

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The inherent problem with having lots out of date stuff

I have fairly high tasting standards for a single bag of scratchings, I can tell if they are out of date, I can tell if they are on the turn, I can tell if they are just poor quality. I want a nice bag of scratchings and Midland Snacks Pork Scratchings are one of the best around, so knowing what the ‘should’ taste like is the benchmark.

However, I’m also very forgiving, so I’m happy to let things slide, lower the bar every now and then. After all, perfection is a standard that only the insane strive for.

I had enough scratchings for the experiment. The problem was that I had enough scratchings for ages, and these were out of date already. If they were in date, I could pace myself.

So, I was going to have to try and plough through 96 bags as quickly as possible. With an average of 3 bags per day, that’s a month of eating a fairly large quantity of pork scratchings. As you can see from the chart, they didn’t get worse over time, so maybe I worried for nothing.

Here are the results…

I divided the bags into three categories:

Good = These taste normal – fresh – crunchy.
OK = These are edible – but not perfect.
Bad = These are not edible, I could not eat them at all. I had to bin them.

I opened the box and went through them layer by layer.

Card Number

Good

OK

Bad

Card #1 (top of the box)435
Card #2 given away
Card #3 given away
Card #4264
Card #5462
Card #6543
Card #7462
Card #8183
Card #9246
Card #10 (bottom of the box)363
TOTAL: 96 bags254328

I thought there might be a pattern in the results, a sort of layer by layer change. They might get better, they might get worse!

If there are any pork scratching statisticians out there, let me know, look at the data and tell me if you can see a pattern!

Sadly, I can’t see a pattern based upon where in the box we find/found the card. I had a feeling that the higher up in the box the card lived, then this might affect things. Maybe the top of the box would be hotter than the rest and there would be a subtle difference, but there was none.

As before… The data

£15.99 + £7.00 (shipping) = £22.99 for 120 bags.
If all 120 bags are OK, then that’s 19.1p per bag – great!
I gave away 2 Cards because the task ahead seemed daunting. So the ones left… 96 bags at 19.1p per bag, that’s £18.33 for the box of 96 bags.

If you have high standards, then there are 25 edible bags = 73.3p per bag (cheap)

If you have med standards, then (43+25=) 68 edible bags = 27p per bag (dirt cheap)

If you have low standards, then (29+43+25=) 96 edible bags = 19.1p per bag (practically a giveaway)

If you are looking for the best value pork scratchings then next week, I’m doing a post that answers that very question.

My Waistline

One thing I also did was keep an eye on my weight. It did not change at all during the experiment. So maybe there is something to be said for eating pork scratchings if you are on the keto diet!

In Conclusion

So, in conclusion…
on the upside, they were good value, enough of them were edible and it was a bit of fun.
on the downside, I had to take a bite of some bad scratchings before I knew that the bag was bad, and there were far too many bags

I won’t be doing it again, but I’m glad I triedt.

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