Top 10 Kinds of Bacon in My Refrigerator This Morning
Flickr/Chuck T. guanciale
10. Guanciale. Made by some guy in Colorado, or so says Rosario, the cured-meat impresario at Roma Deli in Pasadena. A nice, gamy pig cheek, anyway, suspiciously like the ones I used to get from Salumi Biellese on 8th Avenue in Manhattan.
8. Smoked pancetta. Guidi Marcello brings it in from someplace in the far north of Italy. Essentially, this is a slightly porkier slab bacon with an exceptionally gentle cure. It's been my favorite addition to simmered sauerkraut.
7. Smoked jowl, straight from Burger's Smokehouse, in California, MO. It wasn't until the last 20 years or so that the word "bacon'' necessarily referred to belly bacon in the South, and this dense, thinly sliced jowl bacon is exactly what you want to chop and toss into a pot of hoppin' john.
6. Pepper bacon, considered an abomination by certain aficionados, can actually be a marvelous thing if cooked over a low enough flame (pepper tends to burn if unattended). Slightly floppy pepper bacon, hot biscuits, a mug of black Monkey & Son Krakatoa roast - what could be better? The pepper bacon in my fridge at the moment happens to be from Broadbent in Cadiz, KY, and I couldn't be happier about it.