I don’t know how I became the bacon advocate. It just happened. I’m not even that crazy for bacon. I’m more in the chocolate camp, really. And what’s more, I especially don’t like smoked things. To me, smokiness tastes like burned dirt, but in this lingering, cloying, way. There: my secret is out. I feel so free now. Smoky flavors and black licorice: my culinary kryptonites.
And yet I became a bacon person. I signed up to make bacon for my Master Food Preserver class way back when and made a metric ton of it to prepare . . . and I loved it because I didn’t smoke it. I slow roasted it. I cured it with salt, obviously, but added in herbs and spices and other flavors, like juniper berries and thyme and rosemary and maple syrup. It was so fun to try all these other flavors with the meat. And then once or twice I kicked it up a notch and roasted some sliced bacon a second time in brown sugar and chili, and made pig candy, which gave me a bit of a reputation, but that’s a story for another time. Continue reading