The Unexpected Ingredient Alton Brown Sprinkles On Watermelon

When it comes to gas station favorites, pork rinds are right up there at the top of the list — even if people don't want to openly confess how much they love them. This snack food that can satisfy hangry road trip munchies is a go-to for Chrissy Teigen, Elizabeth Banks, and Alton Brown. In fact, Brown's love for these crunchy pork cracklings goes beyond simply noshing on a handful or two. The "Good Eats" host has been an outspoken advocate for using pork rinds as an ingredient to enhance the taste and texture of other dishes.

Brown told the Arkansas Times that when he has traveled for filming, he's "made salads out of pork rinds." But that's not the only inventive way he has used them. The professional chef took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share, "If you're not dusting your watermelon with ground pork rinds, you are in fact...doing it wrong." 

Why does it work? Because those ground, fried pieces of heaven act just like breadcrumbs.

You can make your own

That's right, those fried pig skins can be ground into a panko-like crumb, and Brown adds them to his sweet watermelon to add a savory and crunchy element to this fruit. Per X, he has used them in simple pasta dishes. You can purchase jars of ground pork rinds or you can use your food processor to grind up a bag you might have in your pantry. The beauty of ground pork rinds is they aren't going to add to your carb count, but they will add to your mouth's enjoyment.

If you want to substitute ground pork rinds for breadcrumbs in any recipe, you can do so using a one-to-one ratio. These are full of protein and can really amp up everything from meatballs to eggplant to chicken, but just remember if you make them from barbecue, jalapeño, or some other flavor pork rind, you will want to ensure the flavor complements the other ingredients.