The Trail

Cullen Campbell of Crudo Makes Crispy Pig Ears

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Offering offal wasn't something Campbell necessarily set out to do but he can definitely trace back to where the trend began.

"It all started with this," Campbell says, holding a small bowl of crispy porcine snacks.

Chances are good that if you've been to Crudo, you've at least seen the bar snack or side for which the chef has become famous (at least locally). These days Campbell says just about every table gets an order, sometimes two.

The dish, simply called Crispy Pig Ears, consists of a pile of fried pig's ears sliced into strips and served in a Fresno chile sauce. Campbell introduced it about six months after opening the restaurant. It was supposed to be a fun bar snack to appeal to his industry friends who frequented the spot.

It started with one 10-pound case of pig ears -- which, by the way, the chef had to special order from his supplier because, well, no one else wanted them.

He sold through that ten pounds in two days.

Now, two years later, Campbell says the restaurant goes through 60 pounds of pig ears a week; sometimes they sell as much as 20 pounds on a Friday night alone.

"I never thought it was going to sell like this," he admits.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria