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Cracklings, also known as scratchings, are the solid material which remains after rendering animal fat and skin to produce lard, tallow, or schmaltz. It is often eaten as a snack food or made into animal feed. It is also used in cooking.[1]

Cracklings are most commonly made from pork, goose, and chicken, but are also made from other poultry and from beef, mutton, and lamb.[2]



In French cuisine, cracklings (grillons, grattons, gratterons, frittons) may be made from pork, goose, or turkey. These are salted while hot and eaten as an hors-d'œuvre, especially in the southwest.[3]


Pig skin made into crackings are a popular ingredient worldwide: in Central European, Quebecois (cretons), Latin American (chicharrones), East Asian, Southeast Asian, Southern United States, and Cajun cuisines. They are often eaten as snacks. In Hungary, they are popular as a breakfast or dinner food.[4]


Krupuk kulit is an Indonesian cracker (krupuk) made of beef skin.


In Hungary when you have a party, you start it with hot goose cracklings. It has to be goose.

— A Hungarian in New Orleans[5]

Goose cracklings are popular in Central European cuisine.[6]

Chicken and goose cracklings are popular in Ashkenazi Jewish cuisine, and are called gribenes.

Lamb and mutton[edit]

Cracklings from fat-tailed sheep were until recently a popular ingredient in Persian cuisine:

...many Iranians recall how, as a child, they relished a sandwich of the crispy remnants of the tail after rendering.

— Charles Perry[7]


Every part of Italy that raises pigs makes cracklings... [they] are eaten as a snack, kneaded into yeasted dough for breads, and stirred into sweet batters for dessert.

— Micol Negrin, Rustico[8]

Cracklings are used to enrich a wide variety of foods, from soups to desserts.[8] Modern recipes sometimes substitute crumbled cooked bacon.[9]

In German cuisine, cracklings of pork or goose (Grieben) are often added to lard (Schmalz) when it is used as a bread spread.[10]

Crackling is often added to doughs and batters to make crackling bread[1] (French pompe aux grattons[11]), crackling biscuits (Hungarian tepertős pogácsa[4]), or potato pancakes (oladyi).[12]

Salted cracklings are widely used as a snack food.

Cracklings have been used as a supplement to various kinds of animal feed, including for poultry, dogs, and pigs.[13]


  1. ^ a b Alan Davidson, The Oxford Companion to Food, s.v.
  2. ^ Federal Board for Vocational Education, "The Home Project as a Phase of Vocational Agricultural Education", Bulletin no. 21, Agricultural Series no. 3 (September 1918) p. 85
  3. ^ Prosper Montagné; Charlotte Turgeon and Nina Froud, eds., Larousse gastronomique: the encyclopedia of food, wine & cookery Crown, 1961. English translation of the 1938 edition. ISBN 0517503336, s.v. grattons, p. 473
  4. ^ a b George Lang, The Cuisine of Hungary, Bonanza Books, 1971, ISBN 0517169630, p. 92, 350
  5. ^ Elsa Hahne, You Are Where You Eat, 2008, p. 125
  6. ^ Michael Roddy, "Trip Tips: Hungary, where goose is king - and eaten - for a month", Reuters, November 21, 2014
  7. ^ Charles Perry, "Fat-tailed sheep", The Oxford Companion to Food, p. 300
  8. ^ a b Micol Negrin, Rustico: Regional Italian Country Cooking, 2002, ISBN 0609609440, p. 256
  9. ^ "Cream of Split Pea Soup", Stephanie Fleischer Osser, Bernard Clayton, The Complete Book of Soups and Stews, 1987, ISBN 0671438646, p. 329
  10. ^ Ursula Heinzelmann, Food Culture in Germany, 2008, ISBN 0313344957, p. 64
  11. ^ Patricia Wells, et al., The Food Lover's Guide to France, 1987, ISBN 0894803069, p. 534
  12. ^ V.A. Bolotnikova, Byelorussian Cuisine, 1979, p. 78
  13. ^ "Use of Cracklings in Feeds", The National Provisioner January 25, 2019 p. 18