Bill Joel sang about “Gettin’ put on the back in the discount rack…” like it was a bad thing.
The grocery store discount rack is a virtual treasure trove of stuff most people would not otherwise buy, were it not for the enticingly marked down prices.
That’s right – it’s bacon…in a box…that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. And it only set me back $1.59!
According to the USDA’s Bacon Safety page – you can make fully cooked bacon shelf-stable by precooking it at a plant such that the water activity is below 0.85 in order to control for Staph aureus.
This bacon comes in a vacuum sealed internal baggie and has a strange, smoky aroma. Not the delicious, smoky, bacon-frying-in-a-frying-pan aroma, but the three-day old campfire smell you just wish would go away aroma. That one.
The ingredient lists says the bacon is cured with water and that it contains salt, sugar, sodium ascorbate and sodium nitrite. This particular box had 13 strips. Anemic would be a good descriptor:
A three slice serving has 80 calories, 6 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 340 mg sodium and 7 g protein. The manufacturer skips right over listing any fiber content, since meat products – even vacuum-sealed, shelf-stable ones – don’t contain fiber:
The texture could be described as chewy at best. You wouldn’t want to fry any eggs in its nonexistent grease, but the product might be a useful quick fix for topping burgers or dicing for a salad.
After close examination, it appears that this product is really bacon – it just doesn’t look, smell or taste like it.
So there you have it. (Because sometimes it gets boring just writing about real, nice, tasty foods…)