Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bacon

Cooked in a pan, in the oven, microwaved, stuffed in other things, sprinkled on salad, as artificial flavoring on any number of objects....  there is no denying the appeal of bacon.  Even vegetable protein is better as bacon than it is as vegetable protein.  Bacon is one of those things that makes almost anything better.  I've had ice cream with bacon... chocolate with bacon...  toffee with bacon...  I haven't had a bacon cocktail yet, but someone is making one I'm sure.

What's the appeal of bacon?  Well, you have a great combination of sensory memories of eating bacon as a kid along with a huge amount of fat and salt.  There's really nothing else necessary to become an institution.  

I've had plenty of bacon and have definite preferences when it comes to bacon.  Most bacon, I must say, is too salty.  This is, no doubt, the traditional recipe for bacon as salt was used to preserve foods.  Today, we have refrigerators and don't need to douse the bacon in salt.  Another key to great bacon is plenty of fat.  I've had bacon that did a respectable job of providing very lean bacon, but it lacks the deceptively light crunch of a nice fatty bacon and ends up being tough and chewy.  

Here is a good example of what you want to see when you lay out the bacon.
This provides plenty of fat to cook the bacon and plenty of fat left over to eat.  This bacon, after being cooked in the oven, was allowed to sit on a paper towel for a few moments to wick away some of the fat and allow it to become light and crispy.  
This bacon came from a small butcher shop and was fresh and amazing.  While there's nothing wrong with the bacon you get in the store that's been sitting in its package for a few weeks, this fresh stuff really kicks it up a notch.  Try some bacon that's never touched plastic.  

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