Bac-on me! I have tasted the best bacon, the end is near.

by callie watts

I love bacon, it is in my top two favorite foods, coming up second to steak and cheese sandwiches. Put bacon on a steak and cheese and I am going to try to hump your leg. Needless to say, I could not have been more excited to go to a bacon and beer tasting at Jimmy’s no. 43. I went to a craft beer tasting for women there awhile ago and L-O-V-E-D it. Read on bacon heads for my top picks andbacon tips. Oh and the pic to the left is a bacon scarf ! Mama wants!The host this time was Josh Ozersky, a James Beard Award winning food writer who sometimes uses the nom de plume ‘Mr. Cutlets’. This is a man who knows his way around a pork belly. The room was full of bacon addicts, one guy at my table had the word ‘bacon’ engraved on his Ipod. He said he was going to wear a shirt with an embroidered piece of bacon on the front but felt that was like wearing the band’s t-shirt to the concert. We sampled 4 bacons and 7 beers, all the beers were from Six Point Craft Ales. We started off with Oscar Meyer paired with Hop Obama Pale Ale which was delicious. The Oscar Meyer was to give us a taste of the bacon we are most familiar with so that we would have a solid comparison for the slices of fatty heaven we were about to encounter. The next up was Flying Pig Farm fromNew York state paired with Six Point’s Belgian I.P.A. This bacon was much thicker and not as salty. That was followed by bacon from Violet Hill Farm (which I found to be chewy due to some rind being left on) served with with Righteous Rye ale. Next was my favorite combo. Benton’s is my new  fav bacon, it is hands down the best bacon i have ever put in my mouth, everything about it was perfect, thick, salty, sweet, and the perfect percent of fat to meat. Like me it hails from Tennessee, where they know a thing or two about slow cookin’ some pigs. It was matched with the Diesel Stout. I love a good stout and this one held its own against the most dreamy piece of pork to enter my mouth. The last tasting of heaven strips was from Nodine’s in Connecticut paired with Emasculator Doppelbock. I remember the beer being good and the bacon tasty but I was still in a fog after the perfection I had just tasted. This was all followed with Gorilla Coffee Porter, which is like the Red Bull of beer, in which they press the beer through the coffee grinds like a coffee press. Some things of note I learned, cutting the bacon thicker changes the taste. Peter Luger’s for example just uses basic Boars Head bacon but cuts the pork belly (the place all the bacon comes from) much thicker then a standard cut. This news let our gasps of joy and everyone was buzzing about going home and making bacon steak! Also, the best way to make bacon, in the oven on a cookie pan at 350 degrees. That is how you get them to stay flat. No longer am I buying bacon in strips, I am going to the deli to get the whole belly. And finally I leave you with:

bacon mats

The bacon mat! Click the image to see the gallery and get to weaving.

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