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The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.


It's entirely possible to be a vegetarian in Porkopolis. Pop culture reporter Lauren Bishop blogs about products, recipes and restaurants she's tried for others who eat meat-free. E-mail her at lbishop@enquirer.com.


Nicci King is an unabashed foodie and the Lifestyle/Food editor in The Enquirer's features department. She loves to discover new food faves, and she's on a daily quest to answer one burning question: What's for dinner? E-mail her at nking@enquirer.com.


Enquirer Weekend editor Julie Gaw tends to order the same dish every time she eats at a restaurant, but periodically ventures out to discover something new and fabulous. After living in China, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Thailand for more than 8 years, she craves tasty Asian food. E-mail her at jgaw@enquirer.com.


Food/dining writer Polly Campbell loves every quirk and secret of Cincinnati's food personality, and is on a constant lookout for something good to eat. Keep an eye out for her restaurant picks, or see how she's progressing toward becoming famous for her apple pie. E-mail her at pcampbell@enquirer.com.


Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Monday, July 02, 2007

In search of good bacon


I can't believe I'm asking this, but I need help. I've cooked bacon a grand total of twice in my life. Once was so long ago I can't remember - maybe I used that funky microwave tray to cook the bacon. Once was a couple months ago, when I decided to make spaghetti carbonara for the first time, and the bacon was just not the quality you need to get really good carbonara sauce.

For the Fourth of July party I'm going to, I've decided to make my grandma's German potato salad, which I have never done before. It's the kind full of vinegar and bacon fat that makes your mouth water just thinking about it. I had to ask my aunt for the recipe, and she had to make it and measure it out to figure out how to write it down. It's just one of those things that she grew up making.

So the recipe looks pretty much like this or this. I'm excited to try it.

So here's the question: where do you get good bacon? Not too fatty, not too meaty, but plenty of full bacon flavor. I haven't had luck just picking off the Kroger shelves. I have no idea what I'm looking for. HELP!


11 Comments:

at 9:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

about a year ago, maxium magazine had an article about the best bacon and where to find it and the orgins of bacon.

 
at 9:50 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I would go to a fresh butcher shop. Like the one in colerain thats right off 74.

 
at 10:44 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

biggs sells a "double smoked" bacon that they package themselves which is really good

 
at 10:54 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with carbonara was probably that you should have used pancetta rather than bacon.

As for bacon, a local fresh butcher shop is a good suggestion. Stehlin's off of Colerain just north of i275 is always solid. If you're looking for something prepackaged, I've never been disappointed with anything from Boar's Head.

 
at 12:14 PM Blogger ShannanB said...

You should hit up Charles Bare & Sons Meats at Findlay Market. Their bacon is REALLY good. I hate to go commercial but Sam's Club also has good, thick bacon.

 
at 12:16 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree w/10:44. bigg's double smoked is great. get it from the meat counter and not pre-packaged. Avril's downtown or somewhere at Findlay would be good, too. and cook it in the oven on a jelly roll pan, not on the stove. If you have convection, it's even better.

 
at 3:00 PM Blogger Julie Gaw said...

bigg's double smoked may be the way to go. but how to cook in the oven? how long, what temp?? thanks for the advice!

 
at 3:07 PM Blogger Nicci King said...

Here is my favorite way to make bacon:

Place the strips in a baking dish (make sure it has sides that are high enough to contain the rendered fat, and use foil if you like). Put the bacon-filled dish in a COLD oven. Turn the oven on, to about 400 degrees (depending on your oven) and cook until it reaches the crisp level you desire. Easy! I don't even turn it, so there's no need to worry about hot oil splattering on your arm, floor, etc...

I cook sausage links the same way. One less thing to tend to while you make breakfast or brunch.

Also, pancetta is the best for carbonara. The flavor and the fat in (typical) bacon don't hold up well enough for a good dish of carbonara.

 
at 3:34 PM Blogger Julie Gaw said...

On carbonara: I was only deferring to Ruth Reichl's recipe for it:
http://recipes.egullet.org/recipes/r1500.html But maybe next time I'll go all out and use guanciale!

 
at 3:49 PM Blogger Julie Gaw said...

Love that you can put bacon in the oven. NEVER heard of that before. Thanks everyone for your suggestions! (And makes cleaning up the stove that much easier...)

 
at 9:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

www.stehlinsmeatmarket.com "The best bacon" !!!

 
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