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The Dish: Vegan Pork Rinds

Where to Get It: Smoke & Barrel, 2471 18th St. NW; (202) 319-9353; smokeandbarreldc.com or snacklins.com

Price: $3

What It Is: A vegan, gluten-free interpretation of pork rinds. “We wanted to take something beautiful and destroy it,” says Snacklins co-founder Logan McGear. McGear is also the chef at Smoke & Barrel, a barbecue joint that goes the extra mile for vegans and vegetarians. After two years of tinkering with the Snacklins recipe, McGear and his partner, musician Samy Kobrosly, settled on a blend of dehydrated-then-flash-fried mushrooms, onions, and yucca. The snacks come in three flavors: barbecue, soy ginger, and Chesapeake Bay-style. More flavors are on the way including some bespoke varieties for celebrities, like Three 6 Mafia. “They contacted us, and they’re into it,” McGear says.

What It Tastes Like: A pork rind doppelgänger in both texture and flavor. They’re salty, crunchy, and full of air pockets just like the real thing, and they even leave a fine sheen of grease on your fingertips. The Chesapeake Bay-style is the best iteration—tasting like Herr’s Old Bay Potato Chips, only with more heft. The barbecue flavor brings enough heat to have you grabbing a beer. Only the small size of the bag keeps you from overindulging.

The Story: Snacklins made its debut in December, and McGear and Kobrosly are in talks to sell their product at local grocers, Bedrock Billiards, 3 Stars Brewing Company, and DC Brau. “It’s a hand-made, cool little product from D.C.,” Kobrosly says. “People are always trying to button us up, but we can be hippies like San Francisco too.” The duo is currently producing Snacklins start-up style out of borrowed commercial kitchens until a space is secured, but they’re dreaming big. “You always have to have an end goal, and our end goal is to sell the company to Beyoncé,” Kosbrosly says.

Photo by Laura Hayes