My mom sent me four packages of bacon from the Grateful Palate for Valentine’s! The bacon arrived in Seattle today but wasn’t delivered, so I had to rescue it from the UPS distribution center. When I got home I opened up the box to find a shiny metallic bubble-wrap package. I opened that up to the intense smell of hickory-smoked bacon which nearly knocked me off my feet. The ice pack had completely melted and the bacon was on the verge of getting warm, so I had saved it just in time. Whew.
I had already eaten dinner so I put the bacon in the fridge. After a few minutes, I padded back into the kitchen to check on my bacon. Yep, still in the fridge, right where I left it. After a few more minutes, I got out my Grateful Palate handbook so that I could read the description for each bacon. Then I decided I needed to take pictures of my bacon. Finally I just gave up and cut open every package and reverently removed a slice from each.
Then I did something I’d never thought I’d do. I decided to microwave it. Now before anyone starts yelling about how wrong microwaving bacon is, let me just tell you why. I didn’t want to pan fry them all together because I wanted the integrity of each flavor to stay intact and not commingle. Plus I wanted each slice to be ready at the same time so I could compare and contrast. And using four pans to cook four pieces of bacon seemed ridiculous, even for me.
So I microwaved. I know people swear by this method, but I really do think it’s awful. It smelled like burnt paper towels and smoke. Plus you can’t save the bacon grease for frying other things because it gets embedded in the paper towels and turns into a nasty mess. I’ll never microwave bacon again, but for the purpose of my experiment it worked out well. The slices were nicely browned and somewhat crisp.
I carefully laid the bacon on my plate so that I could tell which was which. I ate half a slice of bacon from top to bottom, then I went back and ate the second half in the reverse order, taking notes along the way.
Meacham Old Fashioned Maple Cured Bacon (MOFMCB)
1st bite: Wow. This is what REAL bacon tastes like. It’s incredibly flavorful. And Juicy.
Burger’s Sugar Cured Bacon (BSCB)
2nd bite: Smoky, but not very sweet.
New Braunfels Comal Country Bacon (NBCCB)
3rd bite: Kind of boring tasting, but good crunch.
Gatton Farms “Dan Phillips Secret Special Cure” (GFDPSSC)
4th bite: Holy crap! This is way too smoky.
5th bite: Still smoky, but now I’m catching overtones of chemicals.
Overall impression: My least favorite. It tasted too smoky and had a gasoline-like aftertaste. Blech.
6th bite: This is really good bacon.
Overall impression: The least smoky of the bunch, not too sweet with a really good texture. My second favorite.
7th bite: I like the thinness and delicacy of this bacon.
Overall impression: Good bacon flavor, smoky with just a hint of sweet. Thin and crisp.
8th bite: Yeah, this is definitely my favorite.
Overall impression: Sweet and smoky with a strong spice that I couldn’t quite place.
I am looking forward to conducting many more bacon taste-tests in the future.
I LOVE YOU MOM!