Ave Bacon!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees (thanks to Fishersville Mike) a great piece on bacon. (Apparently the link came first from Ye Olde Instapundit, but your Maximum Leader saw Mike’s link first).

The piece is “To some a fad, to others an artisanal craft.”

If this excerpt doesn’t make your mouth water you are not the type of person with whom your Maximum Leader will sit down and break bread.

[Allan] Benton [of Madisonville, TN and the “undisputed king of artisanal bacon”], a former high-school guidance counselor, bought a smokehouse in 1973 from Albert Hicks and spent the next 30 years perfecting the art of bacon. Industrial, store-bought bacon is fast-cured in a day or less: injected with watery brine, flash-smoked, and packaged for shipping. Benton makes his the way his grandfather did. He dry-rubs the pork bellies with a mixture of salt and brown sugar and lets them rest for almost six weeks, switching midway through from a 38-degree cooler to a 45-degree one and finally to an aging room. Then, they spend 48 hours in a smokehouse, with the smoke generated from an old wood-burning stove.

To the eye, the Benton’s product looks pretty much like any thick-sliced bacon. To the mouth, however, it’s completely unlike any bacon you’ve tasted before. Upon first bite there’s a very strong salty hit, then you notice the chewiness of the meat, and finally there’s a warm rush of hickory smokiness that lingers and lingers while you savor the whole bite.

Damn! That reads good. Your Maximum Leader is salivating. Indeed, reading this short account of Allan Benton’s attention to bacon reminds your Maximum Leader of Tommy and Dee Dee Darden of Smithfield. (Remember your Maximum Leader’s Quest for Ham?) Your Maximum Leader is going to have to find himself a way to get some bacon from Mr Benton.

Of course, reading this peice also reminds your Maximum Leader that he has to get cracking with Polymath on the construction of a smokehouse so that we can cure and smoke some hog parts we get from Smallholder and make our own bacon and ham.

NB to Ham lovers everywhere! The Darden’s have a new home page! Here ’tis. Enjoy.

Hummm… Ham… Bacon…

Your Maximum Leader has some fresh tomatoes and was planning on making BLTs for dinner tonight… He wonders if it is still a BLT if he adds a few slices of ham to the mix… Gotta feed the cravings…

Carry on.

4 Comments »
Mike said:

Thanks for the link. Gotta go cook up some more bacon.



cs perry said:

So…I take it you’re not Jewish. I hate to see chinks developing in the Armor. But I guess we Gentiles have always done better at actually “leading” while our Hebrew brothers tend to do just fine handling the “purse Strings.”



Polymath said:

Bacon.



Damn you.



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