Anybody who visited the old 4505 Meats stall at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market knows the addictive power of their chicarrones, or fried pork skins. If you do the prep work right, these literally melt-in-your-mouth treats are surprisingly easy to make at home, but the quality is entirely dependent on the pig you started out with. 4505 Meats says they are the first vendor to use 100% pork that is humanely raised (i.e. no factory pens) without added antibiotics or hormones. The end product is mighty good indeed.
I was re-introduced to 4505 through a welcome after party at the end of the first day of the 2018 Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. There was a whole pig being carved into tacos, a d.j. spinning porky cuts, and plenty of bagged chicharrones to remind us of their goodness. 4505 also has a retail smokehouse on Divisadero in San Francisco that is well worth a visit (especially because Josey Baker’s breads are made right across the street at The Mill). But the best news for out-of-towners is that 4505 Chicharrones have wide distribution; I checked the map and confirmed I could buy them at the Whole Foods in Albany.
Prep tip from my teenager: open your package of pork skins, douse them liberally with Frank’s Red Hot sauce, close the bag to shake vigorously, enjoy. He does this with lesser chicarrones from the Dollar Store, but I see no reason the same technique would not benefit 4505’s.