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Where can I find really good, really tasty bacon...

I grew up on grocery store, vacuum-packed bacon, but no longer buy meat from grocery stores, for a variety of reasons. I've tried Healthy Butcher (too salty), Rowe Farm (too bland), Fresh from the Farm (ditto), and maybe a few more.

Any ideas?

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  1. The Best Little Pork Shoppe in Shakespeare, a few miles before Stratford has awesome naturally smoked bacon as well as other fine products. Even frozen it keeps well. I buy about 12 pound packages every August and ration them out until the following spring.
    They're usually open until Christmas, then closed until April.
    Check them out!
    http://www.porkshoppe.com/

    1 Reply
    1. re: rsvp7777

      Second the Best Little Pork Shoppe, although I found its prices a bit high. Their Ayrshire bacon was superb.

    2. I really like the black forest bacon from Upper Cuts in St. Lawrence Market. It's $5/lb, and you can get it vacuum-packed if you want to store it a bit longer or throw in the freezer, but it doesn't last more than a few days in my hands (without sharing).

      mmm....now I have bacon cravings...

      1. Superior Sausage on Dundas by Bellwoods park makes their own, they have a plain and a smoked, I'd reco the smoked, they will cut it off as thick or thin as you like...come to think of it it might be the same stuff Upper Cuts sells at SLM, they have a give take deal with each other for various products...

        1. Thanks for the tips. Haven't tried any of those, but I will.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Full tummy

            The Berkshire double smoked bacon at Cumbrae is excellent. It's $$$ but worth it. It comes in big chunks but they will slice it and vac pack it for you.

            1. re: acd123

              I agree! Quite pricey but a couple of strips per person is enough.

              1. re: acd123

                OMG I gotta try that!

                *drool*

                1. re: acd123

                  I love this stuff. I know a technique for preserving double smoked bacon unrefrigerated (not for the faint of heart, admittedly) and brought some of this on a canoe trip this summer. My camping mates were shocked and pleased as punch when we ate this for breakfast after having spent 7 days in the bush. The preservation (using vinegar) changes the flavour but after living on curries made from instant rice and dehydrated chicken for several days we weren't terribly fussed about that.

                  1. re: basileater

                    Yeah, it's really tasty stuff. Great flavour. Also, it has almost no water. In the case of Cumbrae, you definitely get what you pay for.

                    I want to hear more about preserving bacon for canoe trips. On my trip last month, I took the packaged, precooked Maple Leaf bacon. Yeah I know, not the right thing to mention in this forum, but SUPER light for the 2,300m undulating portage on our second day. Maybe next year I'll do it your way. How much is the flavour changed? Does it taste pickled? What is the technique?

                    1. re: acd123

                      Now, I'm trying to figure out how I can stop by Cumbrae on my way home from work... Can't wait to try it.

              2. My mom is a big fan of the double smoked bacon at Starsky's in Mississauga. Think giant Polish grocery store with huge deli counter and that is what you will be experiencing. I can't comment on it since I rarely eat red meat these days, but I always am asked to bring some when I go for a visit.

                http://www.starskycanada.com/

                -----
                Starsky's
                2040 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON L4X, CA

                2 Replies
                1. re: Pincus

                  I'll second Starsky, not just for the double smoked bacon, but for having the absolutely largest selection of processed-smoked, cured, etc., pork I have ever seen in any one place on the planet, without exaggeration.

                  To get strictly back on topic, they have numerous styles of bacon, again, more than anywhere else, and not one is the limp, waterlogged, supermarket type.

                  1. re: Pincus

                    Too bad they're all the way in Mississauga - 99c/lb for all colour bell peppers sounds good to me

                    in relation to this thread - where have people enjoyed the bacon served with their bacon and eggs at at restauarant in the city? I really enjoy the bacon and eggs and beans, etc. at Pomegranate on Queen East. The best bacon I've had served at breakfast was unfortunately in Rio de Janeiro at the hotel breakfast buffet provided - thick and salty and meaty.

                  2. oh ya, Prague Deli on Queen just west of Bathurst, they serve some tasty bacon with meals, they sell it at the counter aswell, slice to order I believe...

                    1. I've tried many of the great suggestions in this thread, and like them, but I just had the Healthy Butcher's bacon and I think it's my new fave.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LiviaLunch

                        Well, I'll have to try it again; I hope they've got the salt levels in check, because I love salty, but not as salty as theirs was.

                      2. Bacon at Brandt Meats in Mississauga is peerless--factory fresh.

                        1. Best bacon I've found...
                          http://www.milbreeviking.com/smokehou...

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: h2o

                            Oooh! I love this store but I've never tried their bacon. Will get some the next time I'm there. Thanks for the tip!

                            1. re: ctl98

                              Okay, I'm finally going to get to Milbree Viking this weekend after everyone's raves. What else should I buy?

                              1. re: Mila

                                Smoked fish and some really dense homemade rye bread.

                          2. There's a guy that comes to the farmer's market in Liberty Village on Sundays that has great naturally soked bacon. I think he's from Meaford.

                            1. I'm totally going to get kicked in the butt for this....
                              I'm usually a fan of the bacon I get at St Lawerance. One day, I was having bacon Craving but was totally out. So I went to my local Loblaws and was ready to pickup those psudo-meat products when I came across the President's Choice Old Fashioned Slab Bacon. It's about 9 bucks for a 800g (?) Package - which works out to about the same price as the Maple Leaf stuff weight wise. It's thick cut and streaky and taste suprisingly good - It's even real meat! I'm not about to give up my St Lawerance Bacon, but damn! This is a decent subsitute!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: oracle347

                                I've seen this and have been wanting to try it. Thanks!

                                1. re: oracle347

                                  I agree that while it really isn't at the same level as "gourmet" bacon, the President's Choice Old Fashioned cooks up pretty nicely...

                                2. If anyone finds a shop with dark brown slabs of smoked bacon, with rind on, hanging on sisal cord, please post details immediately.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: DockPotato

                                    I saw that today at Milbree Viking. It wasn't hanging on a cord, it was in the fridge display. It that stuff good?

                                    1. re: acd123

                                      Old-time Europeanand small-town butchers who smoked their own bacon would hang them behind the case as I've described.

                                      Have the Vikings slice you some about 1/4' thick or slightly less, fry it up till the rind blisters, and then let us know : )

                                      Do you know if their bacon is double-smoked?

                                      1. re: DockPotato

                                        Go to any Polish deli, butcher, etc. and you will find dry, double-smoked bacon.