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Sunday, 3 April 2011

Inna Bun: Waitrose Sweet Cured Smoked Back Bacon with Black Treacle

Mmmm. Bacon.

I'm not sure what's happened to treacle recently, but the photo on the pack looks more like dark maple syrup than the opaque, glossy black ooze that was treacle in my youth... And, actually, that seems to hold true for whatever it was they used on this bacon. I picked it up recently on a whim, rather than just stocking up on 'plain old' bacon, because it sounded weird but potentially very tasty.

Waitrose describe it as "hand cured, coverd in black treacle (really, Waitrose? Really?) and beech smoked for a wonderfully sweet, smoky flavour. Prime British pork from outdoor bred pigs", but I have to admit there wasn't a great deal of smokiness or treacly flavour in evidence once it had been under the grill for a while. By the look of the pan afterward, most of the treacle was secreted out along with some of the fat as it cooked. Still, the end result is undeniably tasty. It's nowhere near as salty as some kinds of bacon, and I suppose there was a slight sweet tang to it.

I'm struggling to think how this could be served, except by itself. Just about any kind of sauce or accompaniment would drown out the bacon's own flavour. Serving it as part of an English Breakfast would probably be a huge mistake (that said, scrambled eggs alone might just make a decent partner on the plate), and it's almost certainly not a form of bacon you could wrap around a chicken breast.

Then again... That actually might be worth a try.

In any event, I just grilled all six rashers in one hit, and split the result between two buns because it had been sitting in my fridge for a good few weeks, and had just hit is Best Before date. Quality-wise, it's pretty excellent, and it has a good, distinctive and smooth flavour. As a quick, lunchtime bun-filler, this worked our very nicely.

I'll probably only buy something this extravagant again once I've figured out what I can do with it other than slap it into a bun, but that's something to look forward to.

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