More has been written about skin – its care – color – texture – toning and configuration than all other bits and pieces of human kind. There are skin books – skin flicks – and other pseudonyms for materials prurient. Depending on your point of view, almost everything written about human skin is positive.

The entire cosmetic industry is focused on giving you great skin for as long as possible – limitless gallons of oils and creams to help people tan safely. Health clubs to tighten pecs, gluts, abs, and a surgical industry capable of restretching and tucking those areas that have somehow gotten the best of us.

Animal skin, however, is an entirely different matter as virtually nothing positive is written about one of the unashamed carnivore’s greatest pleasures – the well-cooked and seasoned skin.

The anti-skin crusade is a relatively new phenomenon. Health nuts are generally killjoys looking for ways to get people to stop eating, or better yet, spit out those things that taste best. Extra crispy chicken skin or alfalfa sprouts? Only the brain-dead bottled water carrier opts for the sprouts. It is the skin that made the “Colonel”.

The equally crisp sheaf of fat/skin that covers a lamb leg – salted – peppered – garliced and slow roasted – eaten right after the roast leaves the oven is real close to a sexual experience.

Pigskins in addition to footballs and Hush Puppies provide edible poppers enjoyed around the world. While cowhides provide virtually all of the leather for the shoe, automotive, apparel, upholstery, and small leather goods industry – the flesh just under the hide provides the flavor and juice which are the earmarks of choice beefsteaks and roasts. Without the skin, the beef is barely edible.

While the anti-skin, anti-fat establishment came close to convincing all of us that boneless skinless chicken breasts – not bone-in center cut pork chops – were the only way to guarantee unclogged arteries – low cholesterol – longevity - – the runaway success of the all-protein, no carbohydrate diets – pioneered by Dr. Atkins and others – has given six eggs covered with cheese, a rasher of bacon, and a side of chicken skin (assuming no flour or sugar) the equivalent benefits of a blood pressure medication.

The Chinese for thousands of years have thrown the flesh of the duck away to dine on the crunchy yet succulent skin – Peking style – and have developed devoted followers around the world for this skin-alone delicacy.

While I remember as a small child fighting with my brothers over the turkey skin at Thanksgiving, to the best of my knowledge, neither Julia or Martha have ever publicly sung its praises.

It may well be that in a largely skin free world, it just isn’t trendy to extol skin's virtues, and the attendant taste sensations. On the other hand, extolling skin's virtues may be one of the many reasons that no newspaper has been willing to publish From the Stool.