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Best Artisinal Bacon/ Bacon Selection

I just wanted to put out a call for suggestions on where to buy (and/or try) the most interesting and high quality bacons in Toronto.

I've done the rounds at most of the gourmet supermarkets in town; and typically their bacon choice is between bacon and bacon! (maybe peameal too)

The odd time you can find maple bacon (usually of the mainstream and also-ran variety)

I'm looking for great quality hickory-smoked bacon or cherrywood smoked bacon, or double-smoked bacon or berkshire bacon, or some interesting and/or oddball flavours, honey-bacon? Balsamic-Bacon? I don't know, but I know I want to be surprised and pleasantly so!

Suggestions Please!

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  1. The Healthy Butcher's house double smoked bacon (I believe they use applewood) is quite possibly the best bacon I have ever had, and I eat a lot of bacon! It is cut thicker, and has just the right amount of salt. It has a slightly sweet flavour to it, no doubt owing to the applewood. The left over bacon fat is liquid gold. I use it to cook everything from potatoes to risotto.

    It is great sandwich bacon as well due to its thickness, you are still have a substantial strip after frying it to crisp perfection.

    I will go out of my way to pick it up whenever I need bacon.

    1. Healthy Butcher counter products are pricey. I like Petit Goret thicksliced bacon from Quebec at Costco, about $5/kg.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jayt90

        You pay a premium for the philosophy, but I don't mind, the quality is consistently high. Plus I agree with the philosophy.

        It's cheaper than Cumbraes house double smoked bacon or their berkshire bacon and better.

        Petit Goret is fine, I have had it many times. Tends towards being overly salty, but at the price point it is at, it is hard to beat. Not as good as HB's.

        1. re: JPJ

          Second the Healthy Butcher bacon-it is friggin good.

          SWS

          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

            Adding link to HB

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            The Healthy Butcher
            565 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

            1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

              I third the Healthy Butcher bacon. It tastes like what would happen if a pig and a maple tree had a baby. I have a 250 mL mason jar full of bacon drippings that I use for frying potatoes, much like JPJ.

        2. The Pork Shoppe does the best I've had in years. They only slaughter a few pigs a week and make many great products. The Ayrshire style bacon is one of the best bacons in the province. Nice controlled Mennonite hogs.

          3 Replies
            1. re: jayt90

              The Ayrshire bacon is fantastic! It's a bit of a drive to Shakespeare, but it's (almost) worth it.

              http://www.porkshoppe.com/

              1. re: tbonetak

                I agree. The bacon from The Pork Shoppe is out of this world. I don't know what makes it so different, if its the wood they use to smoke it or the way the pigs are raised, but after you've tasted it, its tough to go back to regular grocery store bacon. Just be prepared for your house to smell like a smokehouse for about 24 hours after you cook it! Does anyone know if the product is sold in the gta anywhere? Its a long drive to Shakespeare even for good bacon.

          1. Not sure about what is what with this bacon but Kingsway Meats at Jane and Bloor has the best bacon I've had in the city. Not that I've been sampling a lot.

            It's also got the kobasa in the city. Bar none.

            DT

            1. Excellent question!

              Viking on Laird does their own smoking so I wonder if they have any bacon worth trying? I know they use to carry it years and years ago when it was owned by Estonians and it was delicious back then.

              We've had tried the bacon from Stuart Carroll and it wasn't bad. Definately better than anything from the grocery store. I don't think it was smoked though, or maybe a very light smoke.

              9 Replies
              1. re: lyndak

                I really have to get back to Viking Deli. It's been months since I've been. I love their smoked sausages and smoked salmon.....I've never tried their bacon, and don't recall seeing it. But I might have overlooked it (a cardinal sin).

                1. re: grandgourmand

                  I stopped in at Viking this weekend and bought some of the house-smoked bacon, but still have to try it. But yes it is available.

                  1. re: grandgourmand

                    I cooked up some bacon from Viking this morning and thought it was quite good. It's quite dry, not wet or appearing fatty before it is cooked. It is not too salty like many other bacons. I only cooked it for about 3 or 4 minutes. I'd buy this bacon again, no major faults at all. It's $16.80 /kg.

                  2. re: lyndak

                    Gotta try the bacon at Viking-I believe the owner is Finnish, not Estonian (although the two languages are closely related).

                    SWS

                      1. re: haggisdragon

                        Here it is

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                        Milbree
                        133 Laird Dr, Toronto, ON M4G3V5, CA

                        1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                          Thanks, I'm going to check it out on the way home tonight!

                        2. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                          The existing owner is Finnish, it was originally owned by Estonians