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

Full tummy Oct 16, 2007 05:17 PM

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?

  1. r
    rsvp7777 Oct 16, 2007 07:00 PM

    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!

    1 Reply
    1. re: rsvp7777
      tbonetak Oct 17, 2007 08:17 AM

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

    2. j
      jinxed Oct 16, 2007 07:10 PM

      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. Recyclor Oct 16, 2007 07:18 PM

        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. Full tummy Oct 16, 2007 07:56 PM

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

          6 Replies
          1. re: Full tummy
            acd123 Oct 16, 2007 09:01 PM

            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
              ctl98 Oct 17, 2007 05:15 AM

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

              1. re: acd123
                Recyclor Oct 17, 2007 06:51 AM

                OMG I gotta try that!


                1. re: acd123
                  basileater Oct 17, 2007 07:20 AM

                  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
                    acd123 Oct 17, 2007 11:32 AM

                    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
                      Full tummy Oct 17, 2007 12:15 PM

                      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. p
                Pincus Oct 17, 2007 10:44 AM

                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.


                2040 Dundas St E, Mississauga, ON L4X, CA

                2 Replies
                1. re: Pincus
                  Scary Bill Oct 17, 2007 11:26 AM

                  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
                    pescatarian Oct 17, 2007 12:22 PM

                    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. Recyclor Oct 17, 2007 10:55 AM

                    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. l
                      LiviaLunch Oct 17, 2007 12:17 PM

                      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
                        Full tummy Oct 17, 2007 01:46 PM

                        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. Kagemusha Oct 17, 2007 01:45 PM

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

                        1. h
                          h2o Oct 17, 2007 04:09 PM

                          Best bacon I've found...

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: h2o
                            ctl98 Oct 17, 2007 06:49 PM

                            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
                              Mila Oct 18, 2007 07:10 AM

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

                              1. re: Mila
                                Full tummy Oct 18, 2007 09:29 AM

                                Smoked fish and some really dense homemade rye bread.

                          2. c
                            crawfish Oct 19, 2007 03:13 AM

                            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. o
                              oracle347 Oct 20, 2007 06:55 AM

                              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
                                ctl98 Oct 20, 2007 07:19 AM

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

                                1. re: oracle347
                                  stephen Oct 21, 2007 07:10 AM

                                  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. DockPotato Oct 20, 2007 09:09 AM

                                  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
                                    acd123 Oct 20, 2007 08:53 PM

                                    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
                                      DockPotato Oct 21, 2007 04:27 AM

                                      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
                                        Scary Bill Oct 22, 2007 07:07 AM

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

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