Cue the opening credits, with their sweet, sizzly soundtrack:
Welcome back! So, last month, we made our entry into the world of bacon with a little help from the lovely Strip District spot, Marty’s Market. That bacon was quite good — but this month, we’re able to start this achievement’s true purpose: to review the offerings from the Bacon Club hosted by Crested Duck Charcuterie. This club…well, it rules. For a fee of $70, you get four monthly packages containing 1.5 lbs of specially prepared bacon, each cured with a different flavor. (Obviously, we’ll be re-upping twice at later points in the year — at a reasonable $65.)
This is our February package, seasoned with: Harissa Paste. What is that, you ask? Basically, harissa paste is a Tunisian chile sauce that is often used as a condiment. You can actually see the seasoning peering around the edges of each slice.
If you read our previous installment of Bacon of the Month Club, you know the ground rules…but in case you didn’t, here’s how we judge the bacon.
Fox and I each eat two strips — one cooked lightly, and the other brought to an
overly extra-crispy finish.
Crested Duck Harissa Paste Rubbed Bacon
Fattiness: 9. This was a terrifically fatty bacon — even the heavily charred stuff, while it looked like driftwood from a boat fire, still retained some pliability. The only mark-down from a 10 comes because the fattiness makes this stuff a little unwieldy and slices are a little tough to peel away.
Flavor: 9. The seasonings really combined well, giving some sweet, spicy, and savory all at the same time. “Bacon” and “complex” are two words I may not have associated together in the past, but this stuff had a lot going on in its flavor profile.
Saltiness: 8. It became more prevalent the longer the bacon cooked; it was much more balanced in the lightly-cooked version.
Cooking Survival: 8. Don’t let the picture fool you — even burnt like a 9th-ring-of-Hell villain, it definitely survived. Still, be a friend and don’t go that far. This bacon is at its best with just two to two-point-five minutes of cooking on each side.
This first issue of Crested Duck’s Bacon Club has us pretty pumped for what’s coming next. We hope you’ll tune in next month for our review of…Maple-Dried Chili-Fennel Bacon!