According to Jay Rayner, we may well be sick of hearing about ‘dirty fast food’ in 2012; sick even, of hearing people say they are sick of it. Bacon is different. Unlike sausages, hot dogs and burgers (whose recent ‘inclusive’ animal policy would make even Noah proud), bacon not only looks like meat but is impervious to the oscillations and whims of food twitter twattle. The only difference is that we are eating more of it and in different ways: bacon brownies, bacon jam and even, as created by food blogger Niamh Shields, brown sugar candied bacon honeycomb butter (the very name induces heart palpitations).
Bacon, done well (mainly the rearing part), is coveted by our continental counterparts. Other than in the form of pancetta cubes, bacon doesn’t exist in Italy. It seems to be quintessentially British. Done badly, it is best ignored, shunned, rejected: white pus-y water will bubble out of pale pink strips pulled from pigs who have barely been able to move. We have mainly the Danes to thank for this strain of sub-bacon. A good quality piece of bacon however will be hemmed with a skirt of caramelised, sticky fat and the flesh will break rather than stretch. The Kernow Sausage Co’s new Cornish Sweetheart Bacon does just that and a little more.
Marinated in molasses and chilli, then cured for six weeks, the streaky strips take on a burnished rich colour and umami taste that would be a perfect complement to pancakes (no need for the expensive maple syrup addition). We ate ours according to the conventions of Farmhouse Breakfast Week 20 – 26 January: with Kernow Sausage Co. finest back bacon, honeyroast pork sausages, local eggs, fried bread, mushrooms and beans, cup of tea. Forget lunch.
Cornish Sweetheart Bacon already nailed two awards even before its official release at the end of November last year: British Pig Executive (BPEX) Silver Award and a Gold Great Taste Award. Gavin Roberts of The Kernow Sausage Company said: “We gave it the name Cornish Sweetheart on the grounds that it is very Cornish in its provenance and it has a sweet flavour. The bacon is made using traditional methods and it is the addition of the marinade that makes a big difference. It gives it a sweet edge and a really interesting depth of flavour. The combination of sweet and hot is a winner in my book.”
Michelin star chef Paul Ainsworth describes the company’s produce as “amazing”, and recent Food Magazine’s winner of Best Restaurant, Ben Tunnicliffe (Ben’s Cornish Kitchen) stated that, “Gavin’s sheer dedication and passion for his craft is evident in the quality of sausages and bacon he produces.”
Run by Gavin Roberts and his family, The Kernow Sausage Company supplies restaurants, hotels, delis and farm shops all over Cornwall with their multi-award winning range. The family have a herd of a hundred pigs on the farm, which are hand-reared and given plenty of space to roam around. They also source top quality meat from a number of carefully selected Cornish farms. The welfare of the animals is very important to the Roberts family, which Gavin believes also improves the quality and taste of the meat.
A typical 200g pack of Cornish Sweetheart streaky bacon costs £2.40. For further enquiries please call 01872 531888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.