Nicaraguan fried pork with cabbage, yuca, and pigskin chips

She calls the dish chancho frito and vigoron. It’s Nicaraguan party food. “Vigoron eat with your fingers,” Jenny Sanchez, my Nicaraguan-American neighbor coaches me. We’re in her kitchen three blocks from L.L. Bean. “No fork o no espoon.” Okay, I think, you eat it with your fingers. I get it. “If you a scared,” she looks at me seriously, “I get you a fork.”

The rewards are big for fearlessness. Try cooking it. If you a scared, read this primer on new ingredients first.