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April 1, 2010

Periodic bacon post — how long has it been?


It's one of my recurrent topics, never ending in its fascination.

Now comes Chowhound's latest ratings shuffle, anointing Vande Rose as the best and throwing Niman and Nueske's under the bus.

Nodine's came second.

Which surprises me because I've never believed Nodine's belongs in the artisanal group.

But I digress.

I happened on Vande Rose bacon last week for the first time ever, sitting in the refrigerated compartment next to Nueske's, my default choice for years.

I'd heard of Vande Rose, for sure, having read Cook's Illustrated's 2008 article (you can download the piece here; results are pictured up top) comparing artisanal bacons, which declared Vande Rose the winner.

But when I went to order some the total for 12 oz. came to $23.27 including delivery charges — too rich for my blood, so I decided to wait until it showed up in my Podunk town.

Having now tried the stuff, I must say I agree with Chowhound and Cook's Illustrated.

Vande Rose's was impossible to stop eating, with a very faint sweetness resulting from the cure, which employs brown sugar, salt and pepper.

Nueske's doesn't have that sweet flavor but instead is simply bacon-y — very, very good indeed. 

And if Nueske's is good enough for Eric Ripert, who uses it at Le Bernardin, then it's plenty good enough for me.

If they're out of Vande Rose I'll happily settle.

April 1, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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Years ago when I would travel to NH and VT for the fall spectacle, I found a B&B in Maine that had stated on the tri-fold,

"Best New England breakfast served with lodging"

Well, they made or grew everything they served and the owner was a bacon mystic!

Seasoned with Jalapeño and Maple to perfection, yes the bacon still rang through!

I often dream of it...

Posted by: JoePeach | Apr 2, 2010 6:18:16 AM

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