When hosting dinner parties, we occasionally serve Thai dips accompanied by raw vegetables and fried pork skins. Without fail, one of the guests (usually British) will say, 'Are those pork scratchings? I haven't eaten them in ages!' Then proceed to make up for those lost years by scoffing most of the bowl. We've learned to keep extra on hand. There's something irresistible about pork scratchings - they are tantalisingly crunchy and delicious, even without dipping sauce. It takes a certain amount of experience to make good pork scratchings. The temperature of the oil must be set with care; if it's too hot, the exterior of the skin will harden before the interior is cooked (making it chewy and leathery); if it's not hot enough, the skin will have an unappetising soft texture. They're not the healthiest snack, especially when fried in lard. The Thai grocery shops in Wan Chai and Kowloon City offer the best (and cheapest) selection of pork scratchings. You can choose from just fried skin; skin with a thin or thick layer of fat; and skin with fat and a tiny sliver of meat. Some producers also make pork scratchings flavoured with chilli salt. Pork scratchings absorb humidity, so they should be stored in an air-tight container. If they've become soft, put them in the oven, heat it to 180 degrees Celsius, then turn it off and leave the scratchings inside to cool.