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Good bacon in Cambridge/Somerville?

Looks like Whole Foods raised the price of its maple smoked bacon to around 8.40lb. Too high for what is just an average bacon experience. Any better options in the area? Know about Karl's tripled smoked but want something/place closer. Thanks.

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  1. Karl's is always worth the trip.
    But maybe the new place on Cambridge St:

    http://akimenkomeats.com/

    Don't know if he's open yet, though.

    1. Savenors carries Nueske's applewood smoked bacon - great stuff!

      4 Replies
      1. re: BobB

        Savenor's has a couple of different kinds of bacon. Really good. It's probably more than $8.40/lb., but worth it in my opinion.

        1. re: bear

          Agreed. Savenors' own bacon is delicious and vacuum sealed, so you can store it for a long time.

          1. re: enhF94

            Last time I was in they had only their own brand, not Neuske's, but their double-smoked is outstanding.

            1. re: BobB

              I think Savenors only sells their own brand these days, in several flavors. You are right about the double-smoked. Excellent. The website says $12.99/lb.

      2. Trader Joe's stocks Niman Ranch for $4.79/12 oz., which is significantly less than anywhere else. Formaggio Kitchen on Huron Ave. slices bacon to order but I believe it costs much more than $8.40/lb.

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        Formaggio Kitchen
        244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

        Trader Joe's
        1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

        11 Replies
        1. re: Velda Mae

          Funny you should mention Formaggio's bacon. I received a slab to try after their pig butchery demo this past weekend. Cut into thick lardons last night as a garnish for soup. It is simply excellent bacon, and I would definitely get some again. As with all their sliced to order meats, you can get as much or little as you like. Does anyone know how much it is per lb?

          1. re: Velda Mae

            Happy to pay more, just not for what Whole Foods has...

            1. re: baldbert

              I thought Formaggio's housemade bacon is up around $12-14/lb. I think they also sell some North Country Smokehouse bacon. I agree, the ability to get a specific quantity cut to a specified thickness is a huge plus.

              1. re: Velda Mae

                I've had the Formaggio bacon and it's superb. I can't remember the price. Their website lists bacon at $19.90/lb, but it may be slightly less in-store. As others have said, being able to get the thickness and the exact quantity you want is a definite plus. These days I eat bacon like there *is* a tomorrow so I like being able to get, say, 4 slices for 2 people as an occasional breakfast treat.

                1. re: FoodDabbler

                  Inspired by this thread, I went to Formaggio kitchen and got their house-cured bacon. It was labelled as $17.90/lb, but when I was handed my purchase, I had been charged $23.95/lb. I mentioned this, and after some umming and ahhing, it was noted that the 'price of pork bellies had risen recently'. I looked bemused, as if it to say: do you think I'm a commodies broker? Again after a pause, it was re-priced, 'even though that was the old label'.

                  Anyway, onto the bacon. It is indeed extremely good, 'streaky' bacon, but almost all of it is fat rather than meat, such that on frying it renders to a fraction of the original rasher. Six rashers was barely enough for my wife and I. It did taste rather good, but was it 2-3 times as good as the next best? No.

                  We used the bacon fat to fry a couple of eggs, since we were still rather peckish.

                  At this price point, I don't think it's good value. Even at $18/lb it's still too expensive, but maybe worth an occasional splurge. But yes, it is very good.

                  tb

                  1. re: trueblu

                    I think my bacon limit is 15 bucks an LB. and I'm cringing while I say it.

                    1. re: trueblu

                      You may have gotten an extra-fatty bit. My experience has been that the FK bacon, while fatty, was not overwhelmingly so. How much did the 6 rashers cost? My argument (made to convince myself) is that getting a small quantity at a higher per-lb price is more economical than buying a lb of cheaper bacon, using some and freezing the rest only to discover it two years later in the back of the freezer.

                      1. re: FoodDabbler

                        The six (long) rashers were about 0.4lb, which came to just over $7 at the reduced (!) price. I'm with you about better quality and smaller amounts. I usually buy my bacon at Dewar's in Newton -- can't remember the brand, but it tastes about the same as the FK one, and although that's also expensive, I don't think it's at these nosebleed prices. It's sold in smaller packs, about 8 rashers, which is just right.

                        tb

                        1. re: trueblu

                          So is this artisanal bacon really different from "lesser" bacon? I've never had really high quality bacon, I don't believe.

                          1. re: observor

                            It's certainly miles better than cheap bacon. Couldn't be bothered to traipse up to Newton once, and bought the most expensive bacon at the local star market -- big mistake! I'm no bacon connoisseur. The best 'bacon' I've had in Boston is the grilled pork belly at Craigie, however.

                            tb

              2. I don't like American bacon as it's always streaky eg with streaks of fat. Something bacon fans might consider trying is Irish bacon, or rashers as we call them. It's way less fatty with more meat and also available smoked. You can get them in Inman Square Supermarket.
                If you go, try the Irish sausages too.

                1. Sherman Market in Union Square has bacon, at least occasionally. Never been there though, so I can't comment on quality or price.

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                  Sherman Market
                  22 Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: emannths

                    I bought the bacon at Sherman and it's sitting in my freezer. Haven't tried it yet and don't remember the price, sorry. I will report back when I get around to eating it. I believe it is from Vermont.

                  2. I was hopeful about Happy Pig Salumi, but they haven't returned my e-mails since ordering some months ago. :(

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: enhF94

                      Saw some nice looking and not too expensive pork belly at HMart. I think I'm gonna try to make my own bacon!! Looks not too difficult, brine it for a few days, then smoke it for 3 hrs.
                      Anyone tried this? Any special tricks/recipes?

                      1. re: justbeingpolite

                        That's the way to go instead of shelling out 18 dollars a pound for bacon, a lot of which apparently melts away! I'm sure with some practice and a little research you could make really good stuff, and it would be much cheaper.

                        1. re: justbeingpolite

                          Ruhlman published a recipe for bacon on his website a few days ago. Looks easy, but haven't tried it.
                          http://ruhlman.com/2010/10/home-cured...

                          Also, I've used HMart product to make Thomas Keller's (Ad Hoc At Home) Confit of Pork Belly. Very manageable recipe. YOM.

                        2. re: enhF94

                          So you got charged but had no product? Or you placed an order, weren't charged, and never heard from them again?

                          I've seen their name here & there, so they're definitely around - they were somehow associated with Akimenko meats in something i read not too long ago

                        3. Maybe this is a better question. What is the best bacon around for under 10 bucks an lb.?

                          1. I will mention that bacon is really easy to make at home. Just cure for a week with a spice blend that YOU like, smoke it, and you have bacon. This is the "entry drug" to home curing.

                            8 Replies
                              1. re: justbeingpolite

                                I have been using the recipe from Charcutierie, by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polyce, as my template. I prefer savory versions, so have not played with the maple syrup angle. Additionally, Charcuterie outlines a method for cooking in the oven and we have used a smoker.

                                http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/09/din...

                                1. re: smtucker

                                  Thanks, smt, appreciate the input. My internet search also found references to Charcuterie.
                                  Here's a couple of links:

                                  http://www.3men.com/bacon_making.htm

                                  http://indirectheat.blogspot.com/2009...

                                  I'm gearing up to give this a try!

                              2. re: smtucker

                                That assumes you can smoke food at home, of course :)

                                1. re: jgg13

                                  Actually, Ruhlman includes an oven method that has gotten very good reviews from folks who have done it.

                                  1. re: smtucker

                                    So it tastes smoked if you don't have a smoker?

                                    1. re: observor

                                      I don't think Ruhlman's oven method will give smoky results. But I wonder if it can be combined with a wok-smoking method to add smokiness to the bacon after its time in the oven.

                                      1. re: FoodDabbler

                                        So....I bought about 6 pounds of pork belly (skin on) at HMart for about $4/lb. It's in my fridge now with a dry rub on it. Gonna smoke it this weekend. I'll let you know how it turns out.

                              3. If you're willing to pay that type of price, I suggest you check out Burgers Smokehouse. I have been very pleased with their stuff, especially their thick cut. If you buy in quantity and freeze some, it's very reasonable....and the catalog i have has a special "ride-aolng" deal (you have to order something else), there's a 25% or so discount! I also like thier Hog Jowls.

                                www.smokehouse.com

                                1. Lately I've been buying Jansal Valley applewoood smoked thick-cut bacon at Foodie's Urban Market, $8/lb (also available in a fruitwood-smoked, uncured version). Local purveyor (New Bedford), from Canadian hogs. Worth it.

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  1. Bumping this thread to see if anyone's got any new finds or recommendations. Like the OP, I'm most interested in the cheaper stuff (under some arbitrary number like, say, $8/lb)--I know I can find good bacon for $13-$18/lb.