Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 23, 2013 Bacon Wedding & Porcine Ammo

Also Today - Roundy's Center Cut vs. Corn King Bacon!

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week, continuing my review of Bacon Freak fare.  After a month or so off, I'm back!  Enjoy.

BACON IN THE NEWS.  There has been a lot of news in the last few weeks! Here are my top three.

It was only a matter of time before a couple decided to have an all-out Bacon Themed Wedding!  Last week, a pair did just that, complete with bacon bits instead of rice thrown at the couple.  Check out the link - there is a short news clip about the wedding with the accompanying article.  Among the decorations were a bacon printed carpet, bacon printed clothing, bacon wedding cake, maple glazed donut topped with bacon bits, a bacon bouquet and a bacon boutonniere!  The good thing about the wedding, to me, is that most of these items were edible and not throw-aways!

Chicago should celebrate the opening of the new Burke's Bacon Bar at 610 North Rush Street!  The joint sells smallish sandwiches which contain our favorite ingredient - either as straight up strips, part of a dressing, or 'powder'.  I will have to try to make 'bacon powder' at some point and sneak it into my recipes!  I will definitely be visiting and posting a review.  Their site is pretty cool - they offer Matilda Cured Bacon and Benton’s Tennessee Bacon - and I'll eat 'em all.  And I like their logo!  Can't wait to head over and try them out.  Right up there with New York City's Baconry.

Now for something entirely different:  "PEACE THROUGH PORK".  My one request as you read this: don't shoot the messenger. 
An Idaho firm has developed a new type of ammunition that is bacon-laced.  It's called JIHAWG AMMO.  That's right: it's pronounced JEE-HAWG, a takeoff on jihad.  It's touted as "Freedom's First Choice in Defensive Ammunition".
The bullets have a patent pending "porcine coating".  One of their most interesting taglines is "Do 72 Virgins a Favor".  Apparently, their thinking is that a believer in the Muslim faith would do anything to avoid touching pork - if one does touch the ham, he or she has to go through a ritual cleansing to eliminate the offensive substance.  Their thinking is that if such a believer is shot with these porcine bullets and dies, then that person won't go directly to Paradise, thereby saving that guy's 72 virgins from defilement.  Some Muslims disagree with this interpretation, and the whole idea is NOT PC. 

First, Roundy's Center Cut, Naturally Hickory Smoked bacon.

Roundy's is a Wisconsin based grocery chain (with five different store 'banners', or names) that generally sells on value.  They have a wide variety of store-branded foods, most of them excellent.  They also have an upscale market, called Mariano's, that's really excellent - it's more like a food theme park with interactive experiences.

This bacon comes in a 12-ounce package and is very reasonably priced.  Nice hickory aroma upon opening and it weighed exactly 12.0 ounces net.  After cooking, it was 4.2 ounces - a reduction in weight of 65%.
The slices were paper-thin and looked like prosciutto, foretelling potential crispiness.  This bacon sticks to the pan with gusto but smelled GREAT while cooking.  Crunchy!  Crispy!  Succulent!  The flavor grew on me as the experience wore on.  Highly rated everyday bacon.

The Corn King Bacon was interesting.  Odd packaging - it had two little slots in the back (tab A and slot B) that you pull out to reveal what the bacon looks like from the back.  It was all white back there.  It's kind of like the Gary Hart of bacon: it says "look here if you want" and it turns out badly for him.  It weighed in at sixteen ounces on a package labelled 16 ounces.  Go figure. It was mostly fat!  I'd say more than 80% fat.  So much fat, that I wound up throwing out a fist full of it, thinking it wasn't going to add to the testing.  Maybe it was just too porky of a pig.  It was very unweildy bacon to handle.  So difficult, that I didn't take any pictures of it.  Sloppy on the grill.  Looked like fried burnt onion rings after cooking.  Tut it surprised me on the flavor.  And in fact, the fat was awesome!  Definitely wouldn't make this up every day, but on occasion, it might be worth the work.

Overall winner was clearly Roundy's.

Roundy's Center Cut Naturally Hickory Smoked
Corn King Bacon
       4.5           3
         4          4.1
       4.5          3.5
       4.6          2.5
Rendered Fat
       low       v high
       4.5           3