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Cibola has stopped making their hickory smoked bacon because the recipe included sodium nitrite. We are devastated.

I'm guessing sodium nitrate is pretty essential for bacon, or is smoking it enough to impart that glorious flavor. I bought sodium nitrate/preservative free bacon from Babes in the Wood. It was very different from what I'm used to. It didn't seem smokes and had no bacon-y flavor. It just tasted of pan fried pork :mellow:

I bought a 1 lb. pack of thick cut Gwatltny bacon for $3 at Safeway and now am safely ensconced in bacon heaven.

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I'm guessing sodium nitrate is pretty essential for bacon, or is smoking it enough to impart that glorious flavor. I bought sodium nitrate/preservative free bacon from Babes in the Wood. It was very different from what I'm used to. It didn't seem smokes and had no bacon-y flavor. It just tasted of pan fried pork :mellow:

I bought a 1 lb. pack of thick cut Gwatltny bacon for $3 at Safeway and now am safely ensconced in bacon heaven.

My understanding is that for cured meats, the sodium nitrate and nitrite are to maintain the red color and act as a preservative. Otherwise, the meat can turn a rather unappetizing grey color. Heavy salting is a preservative in and of itself, but the meat would need to be much saltier if nitrates are not used. Smoking--in the case of bacon, it is cold smoking, which is a complex operation--is primarily for flavor. Babes in the Woods may have sold you salt-cured pork belly, which is bacon, after all. It is just not smoked bacon.

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My understanding is that for cured meats, the sodium nitrate and nitrite are to maintain the red color and act as a preservative. Otherwise, the meat can turn a rather unappetizing grey color. Heavy salting is a preservative in and of itself, but the meat would need to be much saltier if nitrates are not used. Smoking--in the case of bacon, it is cold smoking, which is a complex operation--is primarily for flavor. Babes in the Woods may have sold you salt-cured pork belly, which is bacon, after all. It is just not smoked bacon.

Thanks, that makes sense. I was not expecting a more plain pork flavor. It wasn't salted a whole lot...maybe a little. Perhaps we'll try to cook more up with some kosher salt and pepper sprinkled on before it goes in the pan.

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Benton's has finally cleared their shipping backlog, and we have one fabulous-smelling house. :mellow:

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Woo-Hoo!

I stumbled across this thread and am so happy! I love me some bacon . . . and most other parts of that magical animal called a pig. I wanted to share with ya'll a blog post I wrote talking about my bacon-infused bourbon. Bacon-Infused Bourbon (The bacon-bourbon is at the last portion of the post, scroll down if you don't want to read the first part . . . buy why would you do something like that??? :mellow: )

One of the drinks I'm playing around with using the bacon-infused bourbon is apple based:

1.5-2 oz apple cider (not the hard kind, but the cloudy fresh squeezed kind)

.5 oz Calvados

1 oz (maybe 1.5 oz) bacon infused bourbon

.25-.50 oz maple syrup

dash or two of Angostura, Fee's Aromatic or Fee's Whiskey barrel aged bitters (your choice)

Shaken, served up. Garnish with a thin twill of green apple skin.

Not bad, but needs tweaking.

Cheers,

Marshall

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Woo-Hoo!

I stumbled across this thread and am so happy! I love me some bacon . . . and most other parts of that magical animal called a pig. I wanted to share with ya'll a blog post I wrote talking about my bacon-infused bourbon. Bacon-Infused Bourbon (The bacon-bourbon is at the last portion of the post, scroll down if you don't want to read the first part . . . buy why would you do something like that??? :mellow: )

One of the drinks I'm playing around with using the bacon-infused bourbon is apple based:

1.5-2 oz apple cider (not the hard kind, but the cloudy fresh squeezed kind)

.5 oz Calvados

1 oz (maybe 1.5 oz) bacon infused bourbon

.25-.50 oz maple syrup

dash or two of Angostura, Fee's Aromatic or Fee's Whiskey barrel aged bitters (your choice)

Shaken, served up. Garnish with a thin twill of green apple skin.

Not bad, but needs tweaking.

Cheers,

Marshall

I'll volunteer to be on the tasting panel as you tweak!

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Cibola has stopped making their hickory smoked bacon because the recipe included sodium nitrite. We are devastated.
I just discovered this last night when I opened a package of Cibola bacon to make German potato salad. It's not the same thing at all, IMO! I'm going to have to find another source for good bacon. The farmer from whom I regularly buy such things doesn't have a smoker, so he offers "fresh bacon," which is basically sliced pork belly. Also not the same thing.

The bacon I got as part of the half-hog I ordered last fall, processed by Fauquier's Finest, was awesome, so perhaps that's a good place to start.

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I make bacon breadcrumbs as a topping when a little crunchy smoke is called for. They are quite easy, put a couple of strips of bacon and panko into a food processor and pulse until they are all mixed together then spread them on a cookie sheet and bake at 250 until crispy. You will likely need to get pour off and blot off some of the grease as it cooks or they will not become crispy.

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Gertrude Baines, world's oldest living person, reportedly attributes her longevity in part to an occasional piece of crispy bacon.

CNN video.

And yes, you can also buy a t-shirt.

Bacon...is there anything it can't do?

Someone mentioned bacon flavored vodka. Hmmm......

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