Proper bacon butchered and hand cured in Carmarthenshire
Words: Mark Riddaway
The smell of bacon as it cooks is one of the wonders of the world: a dizzying olfactory high. Its heady charms can seduce even the most outwardly unwilling—I used to live with a Jewish vegetarian who could never resist the smell of bacon when hungover, despite every cultural and moral fibre of her being telling her it was wrong. That’s the thing with nature: you can’t fight it.
But despite the universal appeal of its scent, not all bacon lives up to the billing of its bouquet. Like those chocolate nuts sold to tourists from dirty carts that smell like godly ambrosia but taste like the calcified droppings of a small mammal—perhaps a pine martin or a pole cat—that savoury smell can often be a front for something a bit nasty: pale, flaccid meat from sad, ill-treated pigs, pumped so full of water and chemicals that the rashers boil instead of frying and end up smeared with a weird white scum that looks like the emission of some other small mammal. Possibly a bat.
Delivering on a promise
This stuff from Charcutier, though, delivers everything your nose promises. The rashers are thick, the meat substantial, the fat white and dense, eager to crisp and curl (unlike lesser bacon, where grease is most definitely the word). Perhaps most importantly, it is made from the meat of pedigree Welsh pigs that have been raised with the respect and compassion deserving of such magnificent, intelligent beasts.
It is butchered, hand-salted and air-dried, all on a family farm in Carmarthenshire. There’s nothing about eating this bacon that could possibly make you feel bad. Unless you happen to be a hungover vegetarian, in which case a degree of self-examination is probably still appropriate.