Your Baked Potatoes Are Begging For Pork Floss

A piping hot baked potato with fluffy insides soaking up a tab of melting butter can be a welcome addition when tucked in next to a juicy steak. On the other hand, a baked potato packed with chili, cheese, and sour cream can be an entire meal all by itself. These starchy vessels are so versatile, there are no limits to what you can put on baked potatoes. While bacon may already be fairly well-known in the potato garnish game, another pork product might not be getting the tater-topping cred it deserves.

Though it has a completely different texture than bacon, pork floss can also be used to bring pork flavor to your baked potatoes. Serious Eats describes it as having "sweet, salty, and porky" notes that are neither very heavy nor very muted. The site also explains that the foodstuff has a dissolving quality similar to that of cotton candy. But, if the thought of pastel-colored meat spun onto paper cones has you concerned, you can rest assured that you won't likely be seeing pork floss spun into a Hello Kitty shape in the near future.

So, what exactly is pork floss?

It turns out pork floss has been around for a long time. According to Epicurious, its beginnings may even have something to do with the snack packs Genghis Khan and his crew carried on their travels. Luckily empire-building isn't a prerequisite for enjoying or creating the snack, and as the outlet explains, making pork floss, or rousong as it's also called, entails boiling, shredding, and stir-frying pork.

There is also an affordable, store-bought version, according to Serious Eats, that can be found at Chinese grocery stores and generally includes ingredients like sugar, soy flour, soy sauce, lard, salt, and MSG in addition to the pork. Though the outlet touts pork floss as the best part of a bowl of congee, pork floss can be used in a number of other dishes. For example, cookbook author Kristina Cho discovered its use as a replacement for bacon and told Epicurious she uses sour cream, chives, and "a little fluff of pork floss" as a topping for baked potatoes. Of course, if you're a believer that bacon makes everything better, just imagine the pairing possibilities with pork floss!