Belly of the Beast
The five best sources for bacon by mail
This week we’ve been preoccupied with this sandwich.
We’ve played with peanut butter, then considered ways we could further customize the classic.
Then our thoughts turned to bacon and five of our pig-belly favorites, all available for shipping:
Cured with maple syrup and salt, smoked over corn cobs and maple shavings, the bacon from Vermont Smoke and Cure ($15 for two 12-ounce packages) is a pancake’s best friend.
Good in a BLT, great in pasta carbonara, the bacon from Sonoma, California-based Black Pig Meat Co. ($13 for 12 ounces) is rubbed with brown sugar, cured for 21 days, then smoked for 12 hours over applewood.
For those who like a deeply smoky bacon perfect for flavoring a pot of beans, it’s hard to do better than Benton’s Hickory-Smoked ($24 for four pounds). Caution: If you own a dog, it may try to claw its way into the package. (We also like Benton’s country ham.)
Beloved by chefs, Nueske’s bacon, from Wisconsin, is meaty and lean. The peppered bacon is a favorite, but a bacon sampler ($28.50 for three pounds) let’s you sample the thin-cut, thick-cut and peppered offerings.
Hardcore bacon enthusiasts should sign up for a Bacon of the Month Club. Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Zingerman’s has a three-month club ($99, shipping included) or you can go (ahem) whole hog and sign up for six months ($189, shipping included).