It all started with a bag of pork rinds and a bottle of wine.
I was in the checkout lane and an older gentleman and his wife who I frequently see at the YMCA where I instruct came up behind me. “Let’s see what she eats to stay so fit and healthy.”
It was only a quick trip to the store. I looked at him and laughed while the cashier rung up pork rinds and wine. “Diet of champions?” I replied in giggles.
It just so happened that the bag of pork rinds, which strangely enough my family loves, came with an error. There was no flavor sprinkled on them, as the package stated, and instead of a savory salt and vinegar taste all we got was the bland fried skin of a pig. I thought it must be a random goof, so the next time I was at the store, I picked up another bag.
The same, tasteless fried skin. Something was terribly wrong.
The two bags sat on my counter for a few days, while I contemplated what to do. I could take them back to the store, but then I would want a replacement and there was a good chance that the entire stock was bad. I could email the company in hopes of some sort of apology and compensation, but I wasn’t sure I needed to go that far. I thought I’d just try another plain pork rind and let it go. But the plain rind was so bad that I dug out those two bags and emailed the address on the back. Polite as can be, I wanted to alert them that they were having some issues with their deliciousness.
Days later, an email response came. She apologized and offered to send me a case of salt and vinegar pork rinds in return for my troubles. A case! Not a coupon or an apology, which is what I was expecting. No, an entire twelve bags of pork rinds, sent with expedited shipping. Supreme customer service.
I was floored. I was drooling. I was sure that I’m the only person I knew that was going to have a case of pork rinds on their doorstep by the end of the week.
And they came. My children were ecstatic, although I’m not sure they realized the challenge of consuming so many pork rinds. Weeks later, our pantry is still bombarded with them. I take them to potluck picnics, and no one is brave enough to even try. “They smell like bad gas, but trust us, they’re delicious! And low carb!” Still, no takers.
And so begins the summer of pork rind, a definite bag at every cookout and barbeque, a salty and fried fatty snack of champions. (I’m sorry to inform friends that the bottle of wine was just fine, so you’ll have to supply that yourself.)
Originally written/published 5.31.15.