BARROW - How does it feel to be a young woman surrounded by a bunch of males at a crackling cooking contest?While this may not sound all that strange at first, it does once you realize 24-year-old Kristina Bare will be one of the competitors at the eighth-annual Cut Off Cracklin' Cook-Off this Saturday.
From the best anybody associated with the event knows, Bare's appearance will mark the first time a <0x000A>female has cooked up a batch of cracklings.
Cracklings are fried and seasoned and made from the fatty layer of tissue that rests under a pig's skin.
"I started working at a supermarket in Sorrento that makes them (cracklings)," Bare said. "At first no one wanted to show me how to do it because they told me I was a girl."
Instead of backing away from the challenge, Bare set her mind on learning as much as she could about cutting, frying and serving up a Cajun delicacy people also refer to as "gratons."
"I picked up a few things from one cook, then some more from another," Bare said. "Eventually I knew enough to enter my first contest (Sorrento Cracklin Festival)."
This is only the second crackling contest Bare's competed in since fixing up her first batch two years ago.
Bare found out about the Cut Off event on a recent camping trip to Grand Isle.
At the urging of her father, Bare registered on Wednesday.
"I'm a little nervous because I don't know anybody there," Bare said. "In Sorrento, I knew all the cooks. I hope the guys treat me OK even though I'm a woman entering a male-dominated sport."
Read full story [Daily Comet]