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I got an email a couple of weeks ago asking if I was interested in trying some bacon. We get a lot of emails asking us to try things and we mostly say no, mostly the products aren’t that interesting, I don’t like writing reviews and, if I don’t like the product then I feel bad writing about it and potentially upsetting the supplier. I wasn’t going to turn down the offer of free bacon though so replied instantly and said yes. I wasn’t however expecting to receive 40 rashers of the stuff.
We used some in the spaghetti alla vodka we ate earlier in the week but the point of the free bacon was to see how the supermarket product compared to the premium bacon from a butcher. I didn’t have any butcher’s bacon and I wasn’t going to add to the 40 rashers so we just fried some up this morning for breakfast. Well, Stephen did. And here’s what he had to say about it.
Two rashers of each type went into the pan. One of the packs said “no added water” on it and I nodded in approval as I laid it into the frying pan along with the others. When cooking, the “no added water” rashers didn’t get covered in white foam and the others did. I pointed this out to Kerri and she (having read the marketing information) said that they were all supposed to be dry cure and that none of them were supposed to release anything. Hmm. I inspected the other packs and they did indeed say “dry cure” on them. Definite release of water though. I should have taken a picture at the time, but when the picture above was taken I had already turned them over.
Anyway, taste is what counts of course, so on to that. Armed with a rasher of each type, some toast, some fried tomatoes, fried mushrooms and a fried egg, I set to work. Tasting the different bacon on their own first before mixing them with anything else, one particular thing stood out: salt. They were all very salty. The flavour and texture did vary slightly between them: one was more porky and thicker, one tasted more like gammon but was oddly flat in texture and the other was somewhere in between in most respects.
The saltiness did tend to overpower the other flavours when eaten on their own, making it a little difficult to discern interesting differences. When eaten with tomatoes, mushrooms, egg, etc, the saltiness was diluted and it didn’t matter so much and they did complement the rest of the breakfast. I was hoping to be wowed by at least one of them which didn’t happen unfortunately, but all three were better than the lower quality supermarket alternatives or bulk generic catering packs that I’ve had the misfortune to be served in some establishments and I would happily eat them in preference for both taste and also animal welfare considerations.
(The bacon was sent to us by the PR company behind “I Love Real Bacon”, I can’t see a website for them though, just a Facebook page).