Nelson's Head, Aunt Fanny's Scratchings Home Made Review

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Bag Size: various g
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Reviewed 22nd September 2008

Purchased from: Free Sample, much appreciated

Here's how this one started. I went out one night with a friend, we went to a pub called the Nelson's Head in the east end of London. Always on the look out for some hairy refreshment I looked behind the bar and to my surprise saw a large jar with a label on it that said 'Aunt Fanny's Scratchings' home made, pork scratchings.

So I bought a saucer of scratchings, a portion being as many as could fit on the saucer. They were stale. Apologies were given and assurances that this was a one off. We accepted this and discussed a second review opportunity. As promised in our conversation, a new freshly prepared batch arrived at my home for careful review. So, here it is...

Arriving in a funny Tupperware type pot, wrapped in cling film for added freshness, I open the pot. They smell very plain. Not fishy or stale, and definitely no added flavours.

All hand cut sizes and shapes with a very thin layer of fat. True randomness. No meat. No hairs. Like little flat squares (small thick beer mats) with thin skin rather than the usual small bits with thick fat. They are light and crispy and hard, just right, not stale at all. They are not heavy and fat/oil soaked like some we have recently reviewed. The lightest, crunchiest and freshest yet.

The range of colours ranges from light golden to light golden. No under done bits, and no burnt bits. Hand made would seem to be really correct.

Generally scratchings are cut up before cooking, however these look as though a little of this was done, then a rolling pin has been administered to smash the larger pieces.

There is also a huge variety of textures, some so light that they are almost 'pork crunch' like, some are so hard, they are like glass. Good, but you might want to take a little care before jumping in head first with every piece.

The taste is quite intense, really unlike any bag type we have ever had (because they are not from a bag!). The amount of salt is just right for 90% of the pot, but starts to get a little much towards the end. This is obviously no problem, if you are eating these in the pub where they are sold. Get another pint in!

There is no dust or salt at the bottom, just a few small flakes from the smashing process.

Unlike normal bagged pork scratchings these taste like pork crackling from a roasted joint, salted, cooled down and smashed up, which is what they probably are. The point is, that they taste like this, which is really good.

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