Monday, February 28, 2011

Get down with the thickness

Paper-thin bacon is fine for some things--wrapping around a Cadbury Creme Egg, for instance--but if you're going for the simple, undeniable pleasure of straight-up bacon eating, thicker is almost always better. Those few extra millimeters give you a crispy outside, chewy inside, and all-around better flavor.

You can procure a package of Oscar Mayer's Super Thick Cut stuff (available at fine grocers everywhere!), but your best bet is to head to your local butcher or specialty-grocer meat counter and have them slice for you. The beauty at left was born at Gene's Sausage Shop in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood. They smoke the lean, Danish-style bacon themselves and offer it up for $4.99/lb. (about what most grocery-store brands will run you, but with MUCH higher quality). Just ask the nice man in the paper hat to slice it about 1/3 of an inch, take them home, and bake them in the oven.

The only tradeoff with thick bacon: Patience. Your average thin-slice strip will take about 12-15 minutes when baked in a 350-degree oven. For thick slices, add about 10 minutes to that. The wait, however, is well worth it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


After a well-deserved break--during which plenty, but not quite enough, bacon was consumed--Bacon Du Jour will be returning on Monday, February 28, 2011, A.D. We apologize for the absence, but rather than make up some lame excuses, here are some cool ones (also made up):

"We went on vacation to a nude beach, after which we couldn't sit down in front of our computer for a very long time, because of the extremely painful sunburn on our buttocks."

"We got totally stoned on Bob Marley's birthday and, thanks to a severe case of the munchies, ate our power cord. In our defense, those things look WAY too much like black Twizzlers."

"We came down with the rockin' pneumonia, AND the boogie-woogie flu."

"After seeing a guy put ketchup on his hot dog at the mall food court, we were too traumatized to leave the house for several months." **

"We went to Gene's Sausage Shop to restock our Nueske's supply, when a pack of angry vegans followed us to our car, then beat us with bricks of extra-firm tofu."

Enough excuses--we'll see you next week.

** we're from Chicago.