The Bacon Campaign

The bacon issue has reared it ugly head again. This time I just wouldn’t let it lie. First I emailed Whole Foods requesting that they carry back bacon but got a stock letter back a week later. Next I tried Farmer John, a local bacon manufacturer. This time I got a very quick, but fairly confusing response. Several emails later it transpires that british-style back ‘bacon’ isn’t really bacon at all! Apparently, bacon comes from the belly of the pig and is what we know as streaky bacon - ie. the only stuff you can get here. Back bacon is actually pork loin that has been cured. They guy talked about how the flavour comes from the meat pump (careful searching google images for that!). Anyway, the meat is pumped with brine / saltpeter / stuff and cured in the fridge. Of course it then becomes apparent that you could do this yourself if you had a recipe.

Making bacon this way, from pork loin, is very market dependent and in the US the pork loin is too valuable to ‘bastardize’ (his word) it into back bacon for the benefit of a few brits (his phrase). He also claims it would not sell as it would be more expensive than normal bacon and pork loin.

Although I can see his point - now that I know how it is made - I just can’t agree. I think they just don’t want to drop the hole out of their streaky bacon market by introducing back bacon proper.

The debacle continues with a very quick email to Danish Crown and their US distributor Plumrose.

I also posted a cheeky forum post on the UCLA postdoc society forum to see if anyone wants to bulk buy it from an internet retailer to save on chilled shipping ($40).

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