|Photo: Art of Manliness|
So when I realized a week ago that my go-to bacon from Trader Joe's has added sugar in it and that doesn't jive with my current allergy detox, we had a problem. Throughout last week, I stopped by Trader Joe's and Whole Foods looking for a bacon that was nitrate/nitrite free, uncured and no sugar added. Not a single package in either store met the prerequisite. Thus began The Great Bacon Hunt.
I took to the internet and used my Google-Fu to search for sugar-free bacon. I came across a brand called Plumrose (sold in Walmart of all places) that was sugar free and lower sodium, which was a plus.
However, it contained nitrites, so it didn't make the cut.
Further internet searches yielded negative results so I took to the forums of Mark's Daily Apple and Robb Wolf to see if anyone else out there shared in my dilemma. There I found suggestions of regional farmer's markets, co-ops and natural food stores that didn't apply to me. Most argued that the added sugar is so inconsequential that you don't even need to worry about it. My wife said the same thing. But that's not the point. If the goal is to completely eliminate a list of certain foods and ingredients for three weeks to alleviate allergies, then I need to stick to the plan and see if it works.
I did some more searching for local farmer's markets in my area that are open in the winter. The one closest to my house has locally produced meats from a farm in Lancaster, PA, but when I went to inquire with them on Sunday, their stand in the farmer's market was not open. Damn Amish.
I decided to circumvent the situation and make my own bacon. I was now on the hunt for pork bellies.
I go back to Whole Foods and ask one of the meat department employees if they have any pork bellies. A few minutes later, another employee comes out from deep within the bowels of the meat department lair with a shrink wrapped package of what must have been five pounds of pork belly. Pay dirt!
I tell him I want to make it into bacon and he says he can do that for me. Damn, it just keeps getting better. For $5 a pound I got my own sugar free, nitrate/nitrite free, uncured, thick-cut bacon. Gosh it sure does look purdy, don't it?