Sunday, March 9, 2008

A message from Bacon and Bakin'

And also today's lunch.

It's the double-smoked bacon from the Italian grocery and deli ("Specialita d'Italia") at City Market in KC. Four thick slices cost me $1.05. The bacon was out of this world. I baked it at 350 degrees for, oh, 10-15 minutes, until it was slightly crispy. Bacon this thick would have to be charred in order to be completely crispy, so aiming for a combination of meatiness and crispiness is best for this bacon. (I normally broil bacon, but I didn't feel like cleaning up a bacony broiler pan, so I opted for bakin' the bacon. Worked out nicely.)

The double-smoked bacon had a smoky flavor that did not overwhelm the flavor of the meat. I tasted not only smoke, but also pork; it was a nice balance. The tiny bit of rind was the best part of each slice. It got crispy out the outside, but stayed tender underneath that crust. The rind melted in my mouth.

As you see, there was a lot of meat in each slice and not a whole lot of fat. I hate when the fat in bacon is floppy, gelatinous, and generally unappetizing, but the dearth of fat in this bacon and the method of cooking ensured that I didn't end up with anything nasty on my plate.

I liked this grocery not only for their awesome bacon, but also for their groceries. Take, for example, their selection of DeCecco pastas. For $2, I bought a box of one of my favorite shapes of pasta. Here are the little tennis racquets bathing in creamy vodka sauce:

The store also sells the unbeatable San Marzano tomatoes, all sorts of olive oils and vinegars, and other imported products from Italy. Unfortunately, I didn't see pici there, that thick, Tuscan pasta I couldn't get enough of during my 10 days in Italy.

When I need good Italian groceries--or some outrageously good bacon--I know where I'll be going.

(P.S. I apologize for my truancy as of late. I have all sorts of stuff to write about now, so hang tight.)

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