Classic Sliced Dry Rubbed, Wellshire Farms All Natural
After cutting it open, I smelled it. The scent was smokey and bordered on sweet. I was so surprised by the sweet smell, I called my wife over to smell it and she agreed. Looking at the bacon, my first observation was that the slices were very meaty, lean even (well, lean for bacon), which was really exciting considering the smell. I know that the smell of bacon is typically in the fat, so a great-smelling bacon with a lower fat percentage means that the flavor is in the meat.
I cut the slices in half, so that each slice of bacon was about 5 inches long, rather than the 10 inches that they would be out of the package. Heating the bacon up, the sweet smokey scent wafted lazily through the kitchen and dining room. My wife wandered over, pulled by the magnetic scent of the bacon. I cooked it slow for Bacon. Just under medium (4 out of 10) and covered. I’m not sure if I did that because it’s leaner, or to savor the smell. We ate it as desert, a full 90 minutes after dinner, intentionally focusing on the experience rather than combining that with hunger. Not that bacon is better on a satisfied stomach, but we had planned ahead for this particular package of bacon, and this was what we wanted. It started out with great color – a color some more processed bacon would be happy with as a finished color! Cooking started to bring out the deeper reds, making my mouth water. Cooking slowly has it’s drawbacks – you have to be more attentive, since the extra time is so likely to draw you elsewhere. But this bacon deserves the extra effort and consideration. Also, the leaner cut means that it can go from done to overdone quickly, and I prefer my bacon chewy – so I paid close attention!
Wow, that smokey flavor turned out to be just incredible! It’s not overpowering, more like a great job spicing a meat dish – not overpowering, right there if you’re looking for it. The scent of the smokiness rolled around my mouth as I lifted the slices of bacon. It was intoxicating, and I wasn’t drinking! The sweet smell came through as a flavor too. It was almost like some of the chutneys I’ve made; the sweetness is there, but very subtle.
This bacon makes the ideal of American Style bacon proud, and jealous. The last two bacon products I have had here on The Bacon Project have been Irish style and Canadian style. I left the American styles for a little later, intentionally putting some of the really good stuff first, to set the bar. Well, this bacon rises to the challenge admirably! It smells amazing, filling my home with a sweet smokey bacon smell, it plates well, and could be served alongside any meal, and it tastes incredible!
For more thoughts on Bacon, and further Bacon Project posts, keep an eye out for Urban Paleo Chef posts! Also, comment in with thoughts, suggestions, and questions for all things Bacon related!
The critique over with, here is what I use as a base for evaluation of my bacon.
- √ No nitrates or nitrites added (except those occurring in sea salt and celery)
- √ Minimal processing, no artificial ingredients
- √ Pork raised without antibiotics
- Sustainable farm raised
This one gets a check-mark for the first three. The fourth rule is a tough one, because I have yet to find a Sustainable Farm Raised commercially available bacon product. But I will keep looking!
And finally, where did I buy it?
Trader Joe’s – I picked this up at Trader Joe’s. Bacon seems to be one of the very few products that Trader Joe’s will sell non-Trader Joe’s brand products. I am not sure how much longer that will continue, or if perhaps that will expand? Either way, this was a Trader Joe’s purchase. I have seen other Wellshire Farms All Natural bacon in Pathmark and Shop Rite, but not the Classic Sliced Dry Rubbed bacon.