Carcar, Cebu is also known as one of the major purchasing centers for chicharon. ‘What exactly is chicharon?, you may ask. Chicharon or pork cracklings are made of pork fat, rind and pork skin (so unhealthy, I know). They are seasoned with salt and deep fried until they are crispy, crunchy and golden brown.
Now back to Carcar. Located at the southern part of Cebu City, Carcar is a one to 2 hour drive from the heart of Cebu City. You can take a bus or V-hire or you can conveniently bring your own vehicle.
Carcar is actually known for a lot of things, like shoes or other leather goods (yes they make very durable shoes), but their chicharon is considered one of the very best in Cebu. To be fair, every chicharon I’ve tried from Carcar tastes good. You just need to find the one which has cooked the freshest batch cause nothing beats warm chicharon. Vinegar works well with chicharon as it neutralizes the taste of the pork fat.
The chicharon-making process isn’t as easy as deep frying pork cutlets. Pork rinds are first cut into small, bite-size portions which are then boiled in a huge drum of water. The water is salted and spices are also added in to add taste to the chicharon. The pork rinds are then taken out of the water and drained. And they are cooked in hot oil and fried.
The chicharon-making business in Carcar began way back in the 1900s. Rumors have it that a married couple started the business. They were to discover the delicious taste of hot-oil simmered pork rind and the first to sell chicharon within the area.
You can buy chicharon per kilo, ¼ kilo or ½ kilo. Some chicharon vendors allow you to have a taste of their goods before purchasing.
You can find these tasty, perfectly-cooked chicharon right along the perimeter of Carcar’s rotunda, across Jollibee Carcar.