BACON IN THE NEWS. Just a few headlines
Kevin Bacon's Daughter Sosie Named Miss Golden Globe 2014 - worth a quick read.
Bacon Fest Sacramento III coming in January - continuing the city-by-city adoption of a bacon fest. In a bit of disappointing news related to the first story, "...the popular “Kevin Bacon Tribute Night” at Old Ironsides featuring bacon snacks and local bands playing songs from Kevin Bacon movies will not happen this year"
Time Magazine comes out with their "Complete History of How Bacon Took over the World". Instead of refuting each claim of a news story, as I did last week, I will instead sum it up with this: If you are new to the world of bacon, read the article. Some great stats. One of the last sections is entitled "Bacon Will Never Die", which is true. The final thought is that the author quotes Chef Hugh Acheson, who says "I would like vegetables to be the new bacon." Hey Hugh, are you a communist?
If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I visited my friend Ron Lester at his Bison Farm in Wisconsin yesterday. I picked up my 16-pound Thanksgiving turkey there, and of course, grabbed some great bacon. Ron served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Korean War, and fought at the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir.
The road on his ranch is lined with American Flags on one side and Marine Corps flags on the other. As you can see on the headline photo above, his Marine Corps flag is pristine and flying proud.
Ron offers a very wide variety of bison-derived meats at his store, on-site at his ranch. I would encourage you to check him out online. Previously, I purchased his Bison Bacon, which isn't really bacon. I reviewed it in the past, and you can check out that story in my archives.
Thanks for your service, SGM Lester.
Last night (Saturday), we had the pleasure of having dinner at my daughter Jillian's house. Jill visited Germany this summer, and renewed her appreciation for German food (and beer). We enjoyed Oktoberfest beer and some great wines, including a really great chocolate wine.
The highlight of the evening, however, was the food. A great schnitzel, along with my mom's recipe for bacon-loaded sauerkraut, complemented by some real German spaetzel (noodles) was the main course. Excellent! Thanks, daughter! The bacon Jill used was a Dutch Farms varietal, and she cooked it in the oven. Nice technique and well done! The sauerkraut was outstanding with bits of this bacon.
On to THIS WEEK'S BACON:
LESTER'S BISON FARM UNCURED REGULAR AND PEPPERED.
I purchased a pound of both types yesterday, and cooked them up this morning. Both packages were labeled 1 lb. The regular weighed in at 15.6 ounces and the peppered 15.8.
I started with the Uncured Smoked regular. The uncooked bacon had a nice, even smokey scent. The slices were very uneven, which is to be expected with an artisinal bacon. This bacon had an outstanding, complex, rich flavor. Nice, but not overpowering saltiness. Great crispiness in spots, and terrific savory, fatty succulence. I give it a 4 in flavor, 3.7 in crisp, and 3.5 in succulence. It produced 90 ml of rendered fat and weighed in at 6.1 ounces.
The Uncured Pepper Smoked Bacon was even better. I hesitated to buy it, because peppered bacon is usually too strongly peppered. This one wasn't - a great balance. It was a little sweeter than the plan variety, but cooked much, much more evenly. It was a little more chewy, but had a better overall flavor. I'm rating it 4.1 in flavor, 3 in crispiness and 3.5 in succulence. It made 110 ml in rendered fat, a little more than the regular flavor on a post-cooking weight of 5.3 ounces.
Both are great! On the left, the uncooked regular. Center: cooked regular; right: cooked peppered.
On the way home from the Bison Farm, I stopped at the famous Mars Cheese Castle on I-94.
This is a real landmark. I picked up a bunch of cheese for Thanksgiving, and looked for some of the local bacons to test. Turns out that the only bacon they offer - in a variety of packaging sizes and flavors - is Nueske's! One of my all time faves. Last week, I rated Nueske's, so I didn't buy any.
Have a great week, everyone.