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FOR BACON LOVERS

m
millygirl Oct 20, 2012 08:42 AM

I haven't even finished my brekkie yet but had to share with you a new find -

This Little Pig bacon

OMG best bacon ever. All natural, and hand made. Taste like what bacon is supposed to taste like. No fake smokey taste. And perfect texture. Thick, but not too thick. Just fantastic!

We found it at Summerhill Market.

Honestly after trying this I won't be able to eat any other bacon. I've tried some butcher bacons in the past and found them to dry and chewy. This Little Pig takes bacon to a whole new level.

Interesting that I read on their website that Ezra from The Brickworks uses their product. I knew I was on to something!

Let me know what you think folks.....

  1. d
    dory Feb 24, 2013 03:21 PM

    How does this compare to the double smoked bacon available at European (German, Polish, etc,) delis/butchers? It comes in slabs so they'll slice it to your preference, its drier when it is raw,meatier, and while it is not particularly lean it has a mellow, smokey flavour, Not salty, And it tastes as good as it smells (which is not always the case). I can't remember the price/lb but I know it can be had for substantially less than $10. The outside rind is a dark colour; it even looks good. I think it is smoked longer and to me it tastes like meat so I suspect that fewer/different chemicals and more natural agents are used. Wish I knew what restaurants serve it for breakfast!

    1. Googs Feb 24, 2013 10:24 AM

      I know I'm a little late to the party, but here I am anyway. I recently had to buy bacon from a grocer thanks to the weather. The grocer in question was McEwan so naturally it ain't exactly your Maple Leaf on the shelves.

      I will say that This Little Pig is better bacon than that found at major grocery retailers. However, all butcher bacon I've had has been better. So as a convenience choice, This Little Pig would do. There are reasons I'll never buy it again.

      Fire the marketing dept. All of them. Was it amateur hour?

      First, all North American commercial bacon is made from pork belly. All of it. Thanks for mentioning it.

      Second, by using a single wood to smoke they create a buzz on the nose because it makes that single note strong in the nostrils. The smoke doesn't translate on the tongue or in the post-cooking air, I suspect, because its been killed by their preservative process. Thanks for creating a process with no purpose other than tricking people.

      Third, who's the condescending idiot? Under "Cooking Instructions" could they have been ANY more condescending than "Microwave: Don't be ridiculous." How one cooks bacon is a matter of personal preference for their own reasons. They could have said, "Microwave: Not recommended for the microwave." They didn't. Fire the psychopath in marketing and get someone who has friends to write the copy.

      Lastly, why have anything more than sodium nitrate? And yes I had to Google my way through this next part, but by this time I was just so mad at the packaging I found it worth my while. Sodium erythorbate is used to speed up the curing process. Why waste all that time on flavour and naturally preservng when its better spent writing down to people? Here's some info on Sodium Phosphate for you. Bon appetit!
      http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/dr...

      3 Replies
      1. re: Googs
        Davwud Feb 24, 2013 10:33 AM

        So...you're undecided??

        LOL

        DT

        1. re: Googs
          h
          Herne Feb 24, 2013 12:47 PM

          Well that's clear enough. I usually judge food based solely on my taste which is about as au natural as you can get. Makes life easier, I find ,if you are not hung up on the thickness of your dumpling's pastry. But when it comes to This little pig I have to say I didn't care for the taste. Chemicals and smoke per se did not enter into my opinion. Actually I now prefer the pre cooked microwave version that many I suspect consider an abomination.

          1. re: Herne
            Googs Feb 24, 2013 05:37 PM

            Which is exactly my point about the cooking instructions. Beau prefers pan fried so the fat melts and the bacon crisps. I prefer broiled so fat drips and then spits the flavour back in. I've even been known to have the patience to cook bacon on the bbq. I have a friend who swears by microwaving his so it cooks evenly. Not one of us are wrong. You too, Herne. You like what you like. No need for Big Brother to correct us.

        2. justsayn Feb 15, 2013 12:37 PM

          I don't know about the chemicals included, nor the preservatives, natural or otherwise because I do not eat very much bacon. That also may indicate I am no expert. But I do know tasty bbq and smoked meat.

          I happened to purchase house cured/smoked bacon at this cool little butcher http://www.thevillagebutcher.ca/. It was AMAZING!

          They have all kinds of cool stuff and if you are driving, they are perfectly near to San Remo : P

          6 Replies
          1. re: justsayn
            justsayn Mar 14, 2013 02:28 PM

            Update...

            I returned for more bacon this past weekend and found they have two styles now. It is so delicious!

            On behalf of those reading this board, I inquired about the additives. The owner states that there are no added preservatives aside from some celery salt. The shelf life is about 3 days.

            While there I picked up delicious boar rib steaks that were awesome on the bbq. Fresh off the smoker he had some really great chicken wings so we grabbed some of those too.

            This place is a huge find for me!

            1. re: justsayn
              Googs Mar 14, 2013 03:24 PM

              Oh good, I didn't know Sodium Erythorbate and Sodium Phosphate occurred naturally. Those two plus Sodium Nitrate were listed, as is mandated by law, on the label of The Little Pig bacon I bought. The owner doesn't have that same obligation. I wouldn't hold my breath that celery salt is the source of this sodium nitrate. Not after all their balderdash.

              1. re: Googs
                f
                Flexitarian Mar 14, 2013 06:01 PM

                Who said Sodium Erythorbate and Sodium Phosphate occurred naturally? Not in bacon anyway. It's added at the option of the producer.

                1. re: Googs
                  justsayn Mar 14, 2013 08:43 PM

                  I am not sure about your post Googs but to make sure there is no confusion....The Village Butcher smokes his bacon in-house. I doubt he would lie about what he uses to make the bacon. If he does lie, then why ask anyone anything because it would mean that everyone lies.

                  This has nothing to do with The Little Pig or any kind of balderdash unless you are saying you have been to The Village Butcher and he lied to you?

                  Sorry I am just confused by your response to my post and want to make sure The Village Butcher is not caught up in the confusion here.

                  1. re: justsayn
                    Googs Mar 15, 2013 08:35 AM

                    Yeah, sorry I realized that after I shut down last night. I thought you were discussing the packaged stuff, not your butcher's own work. Nothing personal, man. I think I still have some residual ire from feeling hoodwinked by Those Little Pigs. Again, my apologies to you and The Village Butcher.

                    1. re: Googs
                      justsayn Mar 15, 2013 10:05 AM

                      No worries. No problem for me, thanks, I just wanted to make sure TVB stayed in the clear : ) - he is doing some great stuff!

            2. Googs Feb 14, 2013 08:08 PM

              What orginally hooked me on shopping at the St Lawrence Market all those years ago was the bacon from Manos. Newly moved out from mom's, I could barely afford my rent, but I found the money to shop there because, damn it, that little luxury was worth it. I've tried many different types from many suppliers since then. Theirs was still my favourite. After they closed and I was set adrift, I finally settled on La Boucherie. I was surprised at how similar it was in taste, texture. and appearance it was. It didn't surprise me to learn that the people who ran Manos had taken over La Boucherie. Only that I needed the nice lady at the counter to tell me that.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Googs
                h
                Herne Feb 14, 2013 08:52 PM

                Googs: I'll be wandering around the Market tomorrow. I've ben going there regularly for several years but confess I have never paid much attention to the names of the stores (except the mustard place and Paddington's. Where is La Boucherie as best as it can be described.

                1. re: Herne
                  Googs Feb 15, 2013 08:32 AM

                  Upstairs, east wall towards the north end. Its nothing fancy. Its a butcher for people who cook.

                  1. re: Googs
                    Davwud Feb 15, 2013 11:11 AM

                    Ah, my last ham hocks came from there. A spectacular 5lbs (or so) a piece.
                    Mrs. Sippi's eyes still bug out every time she sees one of our hocks. At least twice the size of what they get "Down Yonder."

                    DT

              2. Davwud Feb 14, 2013 03:40 PM

                BTW, was in the supermarket last week and decided I wanted bacon. I opted for PC Naturally Smoked Bacon and I have to say it's really quite good.

                DT

                1. c
                  crawfish Jan 28, 2013 02:12 PM

                  I'm not a big fan of Little Pig bacon. It might be the thickness because my impression is that it is too meaty and tough.

                  I got some bacon from Superior Sausage on Dundas last week and it's my new favourite. They cut it to order and it's very moist so it doesn't get tough. The bacon I got had a black outer edge and the woman said that was all she had at the time. I'll go earlier next time and find out what the other options are.

                  1. y
                    Yimahaji Dec 8, 2012 05:00 AM

                    Tried it and discovered that I prefer thinner cut bacon than the 'Little Pig' type. I tend towards extra crispy bacon and with this bacon, it ended up harder to chew than a thin cut (and dryness was more notable). I bought some Cumbrae's at the same time but haven't had a chance to fry it up yet. Nice amount of leanness though with no stringiness to the fatty parts.

                    Cumbrae's bacon is sitting frozen in the freezer waiting for the wife to be out of the house....(I ruined her diet when I fried up the Little Pig bacon, just before our training session and weigh-in)

                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                     
                    13 Replies
                    1. re: Yimahaji
                      f
                      Flexitarian Dec 8, 2012 08:09 AM

                      Cumbrae's pre-sliced bacon (which I absolutely love) is even thicker than This Little Pig, so you may not like it either. However, someone on this thread posted that they have unsliced Berkshire bacon which they will slice for you to any thickness. But, when I went in last week they didn't have any but said they might this week or next. Their pre-sliced bacon is from a different pig than Berkshire, btw.

                      1. re: Flexitarian
                        Davwud Dec 8, 2012 08:41 AM

                        Funny how this works, I thought I'd like to see TLP cut a little thicker.

                        DT

                        1. re: Davwud
                          m
                          millygirl Dec 8, 2012 09:34 AM

                          And this little piggie felt it was just perfect! LOL

                          1. re: millygirl
                            f
                            Flexitarian Dec 8, 2012 09:44 AM

                            I did my assessment blindly with the two bacons side by side and focused more on the taste of the bacons rather than the thickness, chewiness or density of the bacon (although maybe it's impossible to separate that from ones assessment). I've since had someone else do the same taste and they also preferred Cumbrae's taste. Everyone's taste buds sense differently to an extent but I have to think that how the pics are raised and the extra chemicals added to This Little Pig's bacon must have something to do with it.

                            Btw, the smoking method is the same for both bacons and it is real smoke not the liquid smoke employed by most mass produced supermarket bacon, except for the fact that This Little Pig informed me that they are only using Maplewood wood chips from now on to create the smoke rather than a combination of the Maplewood, Applewood and Hickory that they specify on their packaging (the label will be changed soon). Cumbrae's uses a combination of wood chips, but I didn't ask which.

                            1. re: Flexitarian
                              m
                              millygirl Dec 8, 2012 11:10 AM

                              This is getting way too complicated for me.

                              When it gets in to this much detail it takes the enjoyment out of it for me, and for that reason, I'm out :)

                              1. re: millygirl
                                y
                                Yimahaji Dec 8, 2012 12:18 PM

                                But before you go, thank you for the thread. Otherwise would not have become aware of 'This Little Pig' bacon nor of Cumbrae's bacon. :)

                                (still looking forward to Rasher's though, despite negative reviews)

                                1. re: Yimahaji
                                  y
                                  Yimahaji Dec 15, 2012 06:19 AM

                                  My typical bacon choice, crispy, crunchy and salty. :)

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                2. re: millygirl
                                  f
                                  Flexitarian Dec 8, 2012 02:15 PM

                                  I find it gets more enjoyable the more I know about my food and how it is made, served, and what people's different views are. And certainly there are many posts/threads on here that are much more detailed than this one about every minutae of every aspect of every meal or food that people eat. I thought this was the whole reason for Chowhound.

                                  Anyway, no harm was intended. Didn't mean to scare you away millygirl.

                                  1. re: Flexitarian
                                    f
                                    Flexitarian Dec 9, 2012 05:45 PM

                                    So, now I am on a bacon kick and loved all this discussion about bacon. I'd like to sample some other bacon and am wondering if anyone knows of other butchers that make bacon like Cumbrae's, ie smoked using real wood chips and with only sodium nitrate (which is basically salt) and maybe sugar, ie in the traditional way without any other chemicals.

                                    1. re: Flexitarian
                                      f
                                      Flexitarian Dec 15, 2012 07:54 AM

                                      I heard about Perth Pork Products (www.perthporkproducts.com) 'Specializing in Rare & Heritage Breed Pigs' when reading www.blogto.com about a new establishment called Rasher's in Toronto. They are apparently 'North America's only shop dedicated to quality bacon sandwiches' so I found out they use Perth's bacon and tracked down where I could buy that bacon and bought some at Oliffe (www.olliffe.ca/ - south of the Summerhill LCBO on Yonge). The price per pound was an eye-popping $16. They had pre-packaged pre-sliced smoked and double-smoked bacon in the cooler but also smoked Berkshire by the slab which they will slice to your desired thickness, so I bought the latter (the cooler bacon was not Berkshire and I was dying to try this breed). I also went to Cumbrae's and bought some of their non-Berkshire pre-sliced bacon at $10/lb (although they also have Berkshire which they custom slice, just not any right now). I made sure both were the same thickness, btw, as I was going to do a taste comparison.

                                      Both use real smoke from wood chips, but Cumbrae's only uses only sodium nitrite whereas Perth uses the nitrite and also Sodium phosphate (to hold moisture) and Sodium erythorbate.(to hold/enhance the colour). Also Perth doesn't use sugar in their brine whereas Cumbrae's does. I also found out that Perth does make nitrite-free bacon once in a while but it has to be ordered directly and kept frozen (as the nitrite is a preservative that prevents all kinds of nasty bacteria from forming). The only reason to order that bacon seems to be if you don't want that chemical in your bacon, rather than any major taste difference.

                                      The Berkshire had noticeably more meat in it than fat and more meat than the Cumbrae's bacon but this was because of the breed not where I bought it from. The meat in both had exactly the same colour and looked as moist as eachother so I am not sure how the sodium phosphate and erythorbate make a difference, but I suspect they only do as time goes on since bacon treated with also the latter two chemicals seems to have a best before date of about 5 weeks but Cumbrae's tells me theirs is best in about 4-5 days, yet both are made with sodium nitrite.

                                      I cooked both exactly the same and found the Berkshire had a bit more of a 'meaty' flavour and was ever so slightly gamey-er tasting, where with the other the taste of the fat came through a bit more. Both were wonderful in their own way, but I am not sure the Berkshire was worth paying 60% more but I would not hesitate to buy it if it was, say, just a dollar or two more per pound. I'll have to see what Cumbrae's charges for their Berkshire once it's available (they told me all the ham demand right now is why they don't have the Berkshire bacon).

                        2. re: Yimahaji
                          y
                          Yimahaji Jan 28, 2013 08:46 AM

                          Finally got around to trying the Cumbrae bacon (thick cut). Loved it. Fried it to a crisp as per preferences. Slice was still juicy, not overly salty with the amount of chewiness I prefer. This was after being in the freezer for a number of months. Wish there was more than six to a package though.

                           
                           
                           
                          1. re: Yimahaji
                            m
                            millygirl Jan 28, 2013 12:25 PM

                            Drool. Looks great. I must give them another try.
                            Thanks for the photos Yimahaji

                            1. re: Yimahaji
                              TorontoTuna Feb 15, 2013 12:28 PM

                              I buy uncured belly from a local farmer near my weekend digs. The pigs are Tamshires and are free range. He finishes them with cheese whey, apples and acorns, which gives great taste and lotsa fat. I cure them for a week in vacuum packs, then Sous Vide for six hours and finally smoke them over apple wood on the Green Egg at low temperature until half cooked, then finish in the skillet. Cumbraes will get you the uncured belly...I just talked to them (Church Street) and they have a 7 pound Berkshire belly there if anyone is interested.

                          2. Davwud Dec 1, 2012 06:48 AM

                            It's very good but based on the cost, making my own at home and knowing I can get bacon I like better where I buy my kolbassa and ham hocks cheaper, I think this is a one off deal.

                            DT

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Davwud
                              y
                              Yongeman Dec 5, 2012 07:09 AM

                              Where do you buy your bacon and other smoked pork delights, DT?

                              1. re: Yongeman
                                Davwud Dec 5, 2012 10:56 AM

                                Kingsway Meats. My family has been buying from there for decades.

                                http://www.kingswaymeats.com/

                                I go to the one on Bloor. Which reminds me, almost time to get kolbassa for Christmas.

                                DT

                                1. re: Davwud
                                  y
                                  Yongeman Dec 5, 2012 11:57 AM

                                  Nice, thanks Davwud.

                                  1. re: Yongeman
                                    Davwud Dec 5, 2012 04:06 PM

                                    Any time

                                    DT

                            2. Davwud Nov 30, 2012 10:33 AM

                              This Little Pig bacon in hand. Looking forward to it. I shall sample in a couple hours.

                              DT

                              1. Davwud Nov 29, 2012 06:31 AM

                                I need to get me some of this. Making bacon mashed potatoes for the SEC Championship game Saturday.

                                Also doing a Popeyes vs. KFC taste off.

                                DT

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Davwud
                                  m
                                  millygirl Nov 29, 2012 07:10 AM

                                  Your menu sounds perfect LOL

                                  I will be looking forward to your thoughts on This Little Pig Davwud.

                                  1. re: millygirl
                                    The Chowhound Team Nov 30, 2012 08:27 AM

                                    There was some cool discussion of making your own bacon, so we split it over to our Home Cooking board so people from all over could benefit from the info. It's here now: http://www.chow.com/topics/879878 and we hope you'll go check it out.

                                2. f
                                  Flexitarian Nov 28, 2012 04:33 PM

                                  I heard back from This Little Pig and they also smoke bacon the traditional way, just like Cumbrae's, but only using Maplewood chips now. The only difference then is they use those two chemicals (Sodium phosphate and Sodium erythorbate) that Cumbrae's doesn't.

                                  Btw, TLP's Apple/Cinnamon, Montreal Smoke and Black pepper bacons receive a spice rub over the bacon before smoking.

                                  1. l
                                    laidoffhound Nov 28, 2012 01:14 PM

                                    It's definitely better than other supermarket bacon, but still supermarket bacon. I haven't tried Cumbrae's, so can't compare. But I have bought lots of bacon from the meat people at the Wychwood and Brickworks markets. Sorry don't know what they're called, but they sell out of blue coolers. Lots of different cuts (scored an amazing beef cheek couple weeks ago for $5); same source/sellers at both markets. So can find their bacon at both marktets. Amazing stuff, better than This Little Pig, imo.

                                    (These folks also sell amazing pork chops - try the butt chops!)

                                    1. f
                                      Flexitarian Nov 28, 2012 08:51 AM

                                      So, I did a blind taste test again between This Little Pig bacon and Cumbrae's bacon. I preferred Cumbrae's by a country mile. One thing I noticed is that Cumbrae's is slightly thicker than This Little Pig which contributes to give it a bit more chewy and meaty texture.

                                      But, given our dicussion above, I also emailed the owner of Cumbrae's, Stephen Alexander, to find out what chemicals were used in the making of their bacon, since I found the two bacons tasted very different and that This Little Pig shows Sodium phosphate, Sodium erythorbate and Sodium Nitrite on the label and has a best before date of at least 5 weeks, whereas I was told at the counter in Cumbraes to consume their bacon within 4-5 days. He emailed back (promptly I might add) that their bacon only contains the chemical Sodium Nitrite and that he would talk to his managers to ensure that customers were given the right information (as I was told by a staff member in the store that there were no additives or chemicals - but, in my research and comments on here also realize you just can't make bacon without at least Sodium Nitrite).

                                      He also added that their bacon is indeed at its best within 4-5 days, as I was told at the counter, as it discolours and deteriorates after that. By the way, the chemicals that Cumbraes does not use are Sodium Phosphate (prevents bacon from drying out during processing and cooking) and Sodium Erythorbate (speed up the curing process and helps keep the red colour)

                                      I'll stick with Cumbrae's which I think tastes much better and has the added advantage (to me) of fewer chemicals. The price is about the same, btw.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Flexitarian
                                        a
                                        acd123 Nov 28, 2012 12:46 PM

                                        Also, Cumbrae sells slabs of Berkshire bacon, which they will take out of the vac-pak and slice to whatever thickness you desire. We prefer to have it sliced thinly so that it gets crisp. I don't like that chewiness after cooking. Not sure if that's the same Cumbrae bacon you're talking about.

                                        1. re: acd123
                                          f
                                          Flexitarian Nov 28, 2012 01:00 PM

                                          I was referring to the pre-sliced bacon they display in their cooler. But, I am going to try the one you mentioned. I didn't know they had that.

                                          By the way, I also found out that Cumbraes starts with a classic brine of salt, sugar and water and then smokes the bacon in the traditional way using a mixed blend of real hardwood chips that are smoldered, which then produces the smoke. There's a video called 'Smokehouse' when you click on 'Table', then 'Videos' on www.cumbraes.com that show how they smoke the their bacon. This Little Pig says on their website that use a 'blend of Maplewood, Applewood and Hickory smoke' but not specify whether this natural smoke flavouring is mixed with the brine solution or whether it is smoked the traditional way using smoldering real hardwood chips. The smoke flavouring incorporated into the brine method is the way most supermarket bacon acquires the smoked flavour as it is more geared to mass production methods. I suspect the taste is a bit different between depending on what method one uses. I'm going to email TLP to find out. (Yeah, I'm very curious about how food is made.)

                                      2. happycamper Nov 27, 2012 01:57 PM

                                        Finally got them for American Thanksgiving weekend brunch.
                                        We got the apple cinnamon flavour ones, served alongside toasty cornbread. The aroma of the smokey cinnamon apple was a Huge crowd pleaser!

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: happycamper
                                          m
                                          millygirl Nov 27, 2012 02:27 PM

                                          happycamper, apple cinnamon flavored what????

                                          I'm confused. This post is about bacon.

                                          1. re: millygirl
                                            happycamper Nov 27, 2012 03:22 PM

                                            Yes yes! We found a cinnamon apple flavour version of Little Pig at Fiesta Farm. There was also a black pepper version.

                                            1. re: happycamper
                                              m
                                              millygirl Nov 28, 2012 05:43 AM

                                              Oh wow, okay. I didnt realize....thanks.

                                        2. f
                                          Flexitarian Nov 15, 2012 06:06 PM

                                          Well I was finally near Fiesta Farms today and had to get a bunch of things so I also got a pound of the 'This LIttle Pig' Bacon that I heard about from this thread. I was holding out for Fiesta to get this bacon as they charge the least for it in Toronto ($8.99 for 454g/1lb)

                                          I cooked the bacon in my usual manner in a frying pan until it was just slightly crisp. It tasted pretty good and better than a lot of bacon I have had but it did have a bit of regular 'supermarket bacon' taste to me which surprised me given the reviews on here. So, after I ate it I took a look at the package and noticed that the best before date was December 21st. How could this be I wondered as my absolute favourite 'natural' bacon from Cumbrae's, which stands head and shoulders above any other bacon I have tasted, has a best before date of only 4-5 days. The store clerks at Cumbrae's tell me this as there is no package and they also tell me that it is so short as there are no added chemicals whatsoever. Chemicals are added to bacon to aid in preserving many attributes of the bacon, including colour, but they also can change its taste.

                                          So, I immediately took a look at the back of the This LIttle Pig package to read that the bacon is treated with the chemicals Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Erythorbate and Sodium Nitrate. No wonder it could last another 5 weeks and no wonder it didn't taste near as good as Cumbrae's and had a bit of a 'commercial' taste to me. It is hardly 'natural and handmade' as the OP stated. 'Naturally raised', as it says on the package? I'll take their word for that, but also realize there is no official meaning for that phrase so it could mean anything. Handmade? It does not say this anywhere on the package, but maybe the OP was referring to how they smoke it. I don't know.

                                          I realize that not everyone cares about the chemicals added and that the main criterion for many is simply what it tastes like. So, for those of you in that boat please ignore my comments about that aspect of the bacon. As for the taste, your mileage may vary, but in my estimation although This Little Pig is a very good bacon when compared to supermarket bacon, it doesn't come close to Cumbrae's bacon which remains my all-time favourite. And, it costs about the same price as This Little Pig, to boot.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Flexitarian
                                            m
                                            millygirl Nov 16, 2012 06:23 AM

                                            Original OP here ....

                                            For those that care, I'm sorry I did not mean to lead anyone astray. I got the terms 'natural and handmade' directly from the packaging so after reading this immediately went to their website.

                                            Natural = naturally raised pigs, grain feed, no growth hormones.

                                            FWIW, I've tried Cumbrae's and while I love many of their products, I much prefer the texture of This LIttle Pig's cooked bacon, then again

                                            Cheers and happy eating folks

                                            1. re: millygirl
                                              f
                                              Flexitarian Nov 16, 2012 10:01 AM

                                              Thanks millygirl :) On the front it says "Naturally Raised & Made in Ontario". It doesn't say 'natural' on the actual package anywhere, but now I know what you meant. But, on the back in smaller print there is a paragraph and there it says "Truly handmade". I am not sure what that means though.

                                              I stand corrected.

                                            2. re: Flexitarian
                                              b
                                              brianl999 Nov 16, 2012 08:59 AM

                                              Isn't bacon by definition, cured, using some form of sodium nitrate/nitrite (generally, at least in North America)? If Cumbrae's bacon doesn't contain any chemicals, isn't it just sliced pork belly?

                                              I buy pigs from a local farmer, then cure the belly using a mixture of salt, sugar and sodium nitrite. I then smoke them, slice them and package it up. I don't consider the addition of sodium nitrite to make it any less natural or handmade, in fact it's critical to the process and end product.

                                              It could be that they're using natural sources of nitrates/nitrites, like celery or beet, and calling it 'natural'. Well, I guess it is 'natural', but the nitrates are still there, it just didn't come out of a bottle.

                                              Curious,

                                              Thanks

                                              Brian

                                              1. re: brianl999
                                                f
                                                Flexitarian Nov 16, 2012 10:07 AM

                                                Just did a bit of research and yes bacon is by definition cured and smoked. Cumbrae's bacon looks like bacon, they call it bacon and it sure tastes like incredible bacon. But, I'm going to grill them (no pun intended) a bit more when I am there today to find out exactly how their bacon is made and what makes its best before date only 4-5 days vs a month or more for other bacon. While I am there I'll buy some and try a blind taste test of the two 'bacons'.

                                                This is probably beyond the topic of this post but I also wonder about the other 2 chemicals (Sodium Phosphate, Sodium Erythorbate) that are in This Little Pig bacon, in addition to the Sodium Nitrate. Are they also in all cured bacon and are they necessary?

                                                1. re: Flexitarian
                                                  l
                                                  LexiFirefly Nov 16, 2012 06:15 PM

                                                  It's probably what the sodium nitrate is mixed with when bought. Even commercially its really hard to buy pure sodium nitrate for health and safety reasons. Aka blowing stuff up. Some cures are mixed with sodium bicarbonate or various other nitrates for this purpose. When I buy ready cure for my home made bacon it's mixed with S. Bicarbonate.

                                            3. f
                                              Flexitarian Oct 23, 2012 07:00 AM

                                              How does it compare to Cumbrae's bacon (which is the best I've ever tasted)?

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Flexitarian
                                                m
                                                millygirl Oct 23, 2012 07:06 AM

                                                It's been awhile since I've had Cumbrae's but as a I mentioned above, I've found that all butcher bacon I've tried to end up dry, hard and tasteless.

                                                This Little Pig is none of that.

                                                1. re: millygirl
                                                  h
                                                  Herne Oct 23, 2012 07:25 AM

                                                  Just had some for breakfast. It was great. House does not smell of bacon smoke. Out of respect for the unfortunate apple shape I have developed I won't be buying more anytime soon.
                                                  As I recall there was a sign indicating an $8.99 price at Fiesta Farms.

                                                  1. re: Herne
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                                                    millygirl Oct 23, 2012 08:05 AM

                                                    Yes I can relate Herne. Your post made me giggle.

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                                                acd123 Oct 22, 2012 08:53 AM

                                                I tried it this weekend too. Bought it at Fiesta. I agree that it's excellent.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: acd123
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                                                  millygirl Oct 22, 2012 09:30 AM

                                                  Glad you guys like it as much as I do.

                                                  I would think the reduction in smell must be due to the fact it's all natural. No fake stuff /smell to give off.

                                                  The price is very similar at Summerhill Market. Less than $10 and well worth it in my mind. Esp these days!

                                                  1. re: millygirl
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                                                    Herne Oct 22, 2012 11:51 AM

                                                    I don't know about the disappearing smell either. Certainly it does go away very quickly. If I remember correctly (a big if) bacon used to smell even stronger 40 - 50 years ago. But I have nothing to add to the topic.

                                                    1. re: millygirl
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                                                      Flexitarian Oct 22, 2012 03:26 PM

                                                      I LOVE good bacon and normally get mine at Cumbrae's but when I read your post that the price is very similar at Summerhill Market I dropped by today since I don't live to far away and the price is never similar for anything at Summerhill Market, but rather 20-50%+ more (so consequently I restrict my purchases there to things I cannot buy somewhere else, or when I need goat cheese at 7:59pm on Saturday evening, lol).

                                                      To my dismay, Summerhill charges $10.99 for 454 grams (1 lb) for This Little Pig bacon, $1.99 more than Hooked does, as reported above, or 22% more. Just warning anyone else who goes over thinking it's the same price. I'll get mine at Hooked as I wanted to see the new Kensington Store anyway.

                                                       
                                                      1. re: Flexitarian
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                                                        Yongeman Oct 22, 2012 03:48 PM

                                                        I was in the north Summerhill Market today and also priced it at $10.99. I have waaayyyy too many mouths to feed to be buying bacon at that price. Someday, when everyone is away, I'll treat myself to a pound...Until then, it's Costco for me.

                                                        1. re: Yongeman
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                                                          millygirl Oct 23, 2012 06:22 AM

                                                          Sorry for the error on price folks. It wasnt intentional.

                                                          Back to the bacon - it's fabulous and if you can afford it, it's worth the extra $ if even just as a once in awhile treat.

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                                                    EarlyDrive Oct 20, 2012 09:17 AM

                                                    I agree with you, millygirl -- we discovered it about a month back at Fiesta Farms. I've since also seen it at Hooked in Kensington. Saturday morning breakfast of bacon and toast!

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: EarlyDrive
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                                                      millygirl Oct 20, 2012 09:21 AM

                                                      Yay!

                                                      And another thing I noticed with this bacon which to me is a huge plus - is that the smell of bacon doesn't permeate the entire house like others do. Don't get me wrong folks, I loooove the smell of bacon but not 6 hours after the fact. There are no lingering odours.

                                                      1. re: millygirl
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                                                        Herne Oct 20, 2012 10:23 AM

                                                        Ok. I'll try to get to Fiesta Farms this weekend and give it a try.

                                                        1. re: millygirl
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                                                          EarlyDrive Oct 20, 2012 02:41 PM

                                                          it's true!

                                                        2. re: EarlyDrive
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                                                          ER2 Oct 20, 2012 02:31 PM

                                                          I can confirm that indeed it is available at Hooked in the Kensington market as I bought some earlier this afternoon.

                                                          I was surprised to find bacon in a fish shop but the owner explained that the supplier was a friend of hers. (She also said that bacon is used in certain fish dishes). Apparently it comes from one Mennonite farm where they raise different breeds of pig - white, Berkshire and one other one was mentioned - and the smokehouse is just down the road from the farm so it is all very local.

                                                          At Hooked it costs $9.00 a pound which is one penny more than Sanigan is charging for their bacon.

                                                          1. re: ER2
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                                                            Herne Oct 21, 2012 04:54 PM

                                                            Well I got my This Little Pig bacon at Fiesta Farms this afternoon and just finished it. It is definitely different, seems to have less fat and is cut quite thick. All in all it was great. Little time has passed so the notion that the bacon smell will dissipate quickly can't be reported on as yet.

                                                            1. re: Herne
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                                                              Herne Oct 22, 2012 09:05 AM

                                                              Its now about 12-15 hours since I fried the bacon and as far as I can tell there is no bacon smell in the house and hasn't been since about hour 4--there is an exhaust fan but that is insufficient to explain it.. I'm not sure how the magic bacon does it but it seems to have done it.

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