Did you ever have a product that you really liked and enjoyed for years, and then suddenly one day you found a different brand of that product that was so much better you wondered how you could have been so hooked on the first one for so long?
That happened to me yesterday.
Just last week, I wrote about Hormel Pickled Pork Hocks and Pork Tidbits and how I still liked them even if they weren't quite as good as I remembered. But then yesterday, on a shelf above the meat case at the local P-Chops*, I found jars of Bay View Brand Pickled, Cured Pork Hocks. They were so...beautiful! Packed in a clear brine and not a cloudy greasy slurry, no huge masses of stringy fat but still ringed with delicious toothsome strips of soft-cooked pork skin. And so much meat! Hormel must scrape the bottom of the barrel for their pickled hocks, but Bay View obviously carefully chooses what goes into their jars. And finally: although Hormel's brine is straight vinegar, Bay View's is a mild water/vinegar brine.
The idea of pickled pork hocks in a jar still makes my wife shudder and my daughter gag, but they have much less reason to than they once did. Goodbye, Hormel. Hello, Bay View.
Bayview Packing and Lakeside Foods - the manufacturer's website. They put up an amazing assortment of pickled meats and more - and if you love these old-fashioned treats as much as I do, but can't find them anywhere - they ship direct! This is reason #1337 why I love the internet.
* - Price Chopper. Thanks, Mr. Dave.