RE: Slim Jims
Roy: Don't you think it is a matter of taste?? I like Slim Jims and they are tasty but they are processed meat that is flavored as hot, medium or mild along with other spices. Cracklins are different and it is like comparing apples to oranges.
As you indicated, the skin has been around for a while. That may seem distasteful, but so has the other parts of the porquine.
My grandmother rendered the skin and fat to yield lard which they used to cook with. The cracklins out of the huge vat were delicious. Grandma saved these cracklins to cook with and they were delicious in the cornbread, beans and many other dishes she used them in.
Even more important was the old folks gathered at the springhouse and used cracklins as a neat horse dervers with their libations which was home made. Much like I do potato chips and cheese.
If you have never had fresh cracklins, you have missed out on a wonderful taste.
Paul E. Smith