Having become disenchanted with the bacon I can buy from the store, and accidentally stumbling on the website www.gratefulpalate.com while checking out an article listed on www.fark.com, I decided to check out some of the bacon's listed in the article. The bacon I ordered were rather pricey, ranging from $10.00 to $15.00 per pound. I ordered the following bacon:
Dan Philips Special Brown Sugar Hickory Smoked Country Bacon
Newsom's Old Mill Store Hickory Smoked Country Bacon
Tripp Country Ham-Country Bacon Brown Sugar Cured
Nodine's Smokehouse Double Smoked Bacon
J. Samuel Whiting Bacon
I received the Bacon in 2 days, it came in a silver pouch made of padded bubble wrap and a single Ice pack. I was a little worried as it arrived at room temerature, a quick email to The grateful palate confirmed what I pretty much knew. Since the bacon is cured and smoked it would be fine.
The First bacon I tried was "Newsom's Old Mill Store Hickory Smoked Country Bacon".
The websites description is as follows...
"Tasting Notes: Sweet, salty, lovely, delicate powerful like an iron fist in a velvet glove, the kind of bacon to write odes and sonnets about. Silk, silk, silk. Like a virgin bacon eater, touched for the very first time. Life begins with Newsome's bacon."
At the time I tried this bacon I did not know which one it was (no label), I had to contact the The Grateful Palate to get a list of what I ordered.
Upon opening the package the smell of hickory smoke wafted over me, encircling me like an anaconda ready to constrict. I cooked the bacon as recommended, on low heat in a frying pan. The hickory smoke smell was absolutely intoxicating. I am a big fan of smoked meats and barbecue (I have a smoker), so I knew I would be in for a treat. The bacon wasn't as wide as most bacon and cut to about 1/8 inch thick. I noticed that unlike cheap bacon there was no buildup of water on the uncooked side of the bacon, as a result when the bacon was turned over it did not splatter and throw grease everywhere. The bacon cooked up golden brown. I took my first bite and was nearly overcome with a feeling of pure smoked bacon ecstasy (I think I saw God), each bite invoked an image of camping. The smoke flavor was very strong, the bacon was salty and tender, with just a hint of creosote (not always a bad thing). I detected only a slight hint of sweetness. The smoke flavor lingered for a long time after eating it. WOW, I can never go back to the cheap stuff again.
continued in part II