Baconfest 2015, Taste Test

I was pretty excited about the spread of this year’s bacon. I drove in to the meatpacking district, and grabbed two from Publican Quality Meats, grabbed a curry bacon from the deli at Whole Foods, and then had two of the “fancier” store-bought bacons. I thought we had a pretty good spread, however, after tasting them all they were (surprisingly!) all somewhat similar. So I didn’t feel like we really covered the “range” of bacon after all.

2015_05_09_1748

Although the curry bacon was a bit odd (though not nearly as odd as you might expect!), the strangest bacon was the “Pub” bacon from Publican Meats. Talk about a slab of bacon! It was about 1/2 an inch thick (it’s the second bacon in the picture above). Everyone was a little nervous to try it, but it was much better than expected. Still, we all agreed it was more “ham” than “bacon” and it didn’t do very well in the taste test. However, the next day we chopped some into a charred brussels sprouts carbonara, and it was absolutely perfect.

You know, it seems like we always get these fancy butcher shop bacons, and they always lose to some regular old store-bacon. I don’t know if it’s because the butcher-bacons tend to highlight the meat flavor, and thus downplay the seasoning, or if the fault is mine: maybe my tastes run more towards the bacon I grew up with, so bacons that taste more like that are subconsciously more appealing to me.

Anyway, on to the results:

Nathan:

Brand Rating (1-10) Comments
 Wellshire – dry rubbed, peppered  8  Very crispy, good flavor – solid everyday bacon
 Publican Meats – Pub Bacon  5  Thick! ery very good ham. Pretty good bacon.
 Nature’s Rancher – hickory smoked  7  Crispy with good flavor. The “pepper” or spice flavor overpowered the meat flavor
 Publican Meats – Slab Bacon  7  Flat. A lot of meat per slice. Nothing outstanding but nothing negative either
 Whole Foods Curry Bacon  5  A little tough. Unusual after taste. Extra smokey. Tastes less “piggy” more “beefy”.

2015_05_09_1756

Amanda:

Brand Rating (1-10) Comments
 Wellshire – dry rubbed, peppered  9  Crispy – good flavor w/pepper thing + melt-in-your-mouthy
 Publican Meats – Pub Bacon  3  This is ham. Not as bad as I thought.
 Nature’s Rancher – hickory smoked  5  Salty + chewy. Meh flavor.
 Publican Meats – Slab Bacon  4  “Smokey” flavor has taste potential. Good flavor.
 Whole Foods Curry Bacon  7  Super thick (yet not ham). Salty + not ver smokey

Sara:

Brand Rating (1-10) Comments
 Wellshire – dry rubbed, peppered  8!  Good everyday bacon – I really liked it.
 Publican Meats – Pub Bacon  4  This is like eating the fat of ham. Non-gristly fat, but still fat. Somewhat aromatic flavor. Would not choose for anything but novelty.
 Nature’s Rancher – hickory smoked  6  Hammy flavor. Okay.
 Publican Meats – Slab Bacon  7  Flat. More melt in your mouth. Tastes a little burnt even though it isn’t. A little sweet aftertaste.
 Whole Foods Curry Bacon  3  Very sweet. Don’t really care for it. Texture also unappealing.

2015_05_09_1761

Shane:

Brand Rating (1-10) Comments
 Wellshire – dry rubbed, peppered  6  Melts in your mouth, very salty. Nice appearance – wrinkly, not too flat, looked “real”
 Publican Meats – Pub Bacon  4  Obviously this is the weird one. V. unusual appearance, more like pork belly, but good. Fatty, but not too fatty. Surprisingly bacony. Not for just eating bacon, though.
 Nature’s Rancher – hickory smoked  7  Similar in appearance to #1. Very good flavor, a good solid bacon, if nothing too special. Barely edged out #1, not quite as salty, not as “melty”
 Publican Meats – Slab Bacon  5  Flat, crisp, maybe overdone. Meh.
 Whole Foods Curry Bacon  5  Tough, flavor is…unusual. Dont’ know if I’d want more than that half piece, but it was interesting.

Evie:

Brand Rating (1-10) Comments
 Wellshire – dry rubbed, peppered  9  not sweet, spicey!
 Publican Meats – Pub Bacon  1  not going to try it again
 Nature’s Rancher – hickory smoked  4  soft and chewy
 Publican Meats – Slab Bacon  5  opposite of 3.
 Whole Foods Curry Bacon  2  crunchy!

2015_05_09_1762

Ollie:

Brand Rating (1-10) Comments
 Wellshire – dry rubbed, peppered

 ⇅

 Publican Meats – Pub Bacon

 Nature’s Rancher – hickory smoked

 Publican Meats – Slab Bacon

 Whole Foods Curry Bacon

Overall Results:

Brand Average Rating
 Wellshire – dry rubbed, peppered  8.0
 Publican Meats – Pub Bacon  3.4
 Nature’s Rancher – hickory smoked  5.8
 Publican Meats – Slab Bacon  5.6
 Nature’s Rancher – hickory smoked  4.4
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2 thoughts on “Baconfest 2015, Taste Test

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