31 August, 2009

International Bacon Day 2009 Update

A few days ago, I poked some fun at International Bacon Day - it's celebrated on the Saturday before the US Labor Day, and I wondered why an "international" celebration would be keyed to an American holiday.

Alexa, the proprietor of the International Bacon Day blog, found my post and left a comment briefly explaining IBD's history: Bacon Day started when she was living in Colorado. Understanding that celebrants would need at least two days to recover from a full day of smoky pork debauchery, the day was carefully chosen to fall on a common American 3-day weekend. (With that criterion in mind, I think the choice of Labor Day was inspired. Early September weather is usually pretty decent, and Labor Day is a traditional day to throw a party saying goodbye to carefree summer.)

Since that first celebration, Alexa has moved to Australia, taking the Bacon Day idea with her, nurturing it, and growing it into an international event which, from what I can tell, is celebrated by people pretty much all over the world...and still on the Saturday before Labor Day.

As for me, I am celebrating International Bacon Day by testing a new seasoning for my homemade bacon. A couple of months ago, I added a few handfuls of mixed pickling spice to my bacon cure. The results were less than spectacular - the bacon cured well and the citruswood smoke was as delicious as ever, but the other flavors in the pickling spice (fennel, coriander, and caraway were the main culprits) are not so successful when used in a bacon cure.

Last week, I found some fat pork trimmings at a local grocery. they are big sheets of trimmings from loin roasts, and they have alternating layers of fat and lean, much like genuine pork belly. At 79 cents a pound, they were also a bargain. So I have them curing right now in my experimental seasoning - my standard brine cure, enhanced with black peppercorns, mustard seed, and crushed bay leaf. On International Bacon Day, I will slowly smoke this impromptu bacon over apple wood, and after chilling it to firm it up for slicing, I will enjoy thin slices of it - unfried, just the way it comes off the cutting board - with good black bread, the way the similar са́ло is enjoyed in Ukraine.


1 comment:

Alexa said...

This is great! Let us know how the bacon turns out. The Boys have been trying some home made bacon recipes with out much luck. Apparently it keeps turning out too salty.
Thanks and have a great Bacon Day!