Is there anything better than bacon’s smoky, salty flavor and the way the house smells as it pops on the stovetop? If you’ve only had bacon from the supermarket, the answer is yes: There definitely is something better.
There is delicious, artisan bacon available in Westchester—quality bacon that is naturally smoked and thick sliced for a meatier flavor and texture. Unlike many major manufactures, artisan bacon doesn’t have added water or a lot of preservatives, so the final product tastes richer and doesn’t shrink as much in the pan.
Hemlock Hill Farms in Cortlandt Manor hickory smokes the bellies of locally raised pigs to make what many customers call “the best bacon on Earth.” That endorsement is the result of a small-batch process that avoids adding ingredients that interfere with the natural flavor of the pig.
In Lagrangeville (in Dutchess County), Mountain Products Smokehouse is celebrating 35 years of producing top-notch bacon. Despite a relatively large operation, each belly is still rubbed by hand before being smoked. In addition to the classic smoked bacon, Mountain Products Smokehouse makes a variety of
flavored bacon like maple cinnamon, Southwest chipotle, and herb.
For a splurge that’s worth the money, drop by the John Boy’s Outpost in Bedford or the Mount Kisco farmers’ market for some of John Boy’s Farm’s center-cut bacon. Owner John Ubaldo is a self-professed “pig fanatic,” who hand-grinds the feed for his Berkshire pigs. The antibiotic-free, all-natural diet ensures that his bacon is cleaner and healthier than anything you can find at a local supermarket. Ubaldo also produces shoulder bacon (made from the same cut as pulled pork), which is leaner and has a more robust pork flavor.
Just one caveat: Once you’ve had the good stuff, there’s no going back.
Hemlock Hill Farms www.hemlockhillfarm.com
John Boy’s Outpost www.johnboysoutpost.com
Mountain Products Smokehouse stores.mountainproductssmokehouse.com