I’ve thought about bacon more this week than ever before it seems.
On Saturday morning the love and I went to Trader Joe’s in Ballard (Seattle neighborhood). We were slightly caffeinated and ready for food. We stared at the shelves for a minute or two, spotting the turkey bacon, the beef bacon, the fully cooked bacon. No bacon bacon. We called over a Hawaiian shirt clad worker who confirmed our suspicions with the aide of another worker: TJs was out of pork bacon.
We bought the beef bacon and went our merry way. Turns out, beef bacon is not bacon. It is very thin strips of beef. It tastes like beef. It is not crunchy. It is not salty. It is not bacon. (It was slightly less disappointing on Sunday morning when I chopped it up in a scramble.)
On Sunday the love needed a haircut so I enjoyed some time at the Farmers Market. I checked it out and found three suppliers of meat/eggs. I picked one at random, Skagit Vally Ranch, and purchased a dozen large pastured eggs and a package of (humanely raise natural pork) bacon. I got home, thinking about trying my new items next week, when I realized the bacon was not uncured AND had added sugar. Sigh.
Later that night I landed back in SFO and headed to Trader Joe’s to stock up for the week. Somehow, it appears to be a Paleo epidemic on the West Coast – out of bacon in CA, too! Not willing to fall for any of the substitutes, I went across the street to Safeway. I found one option for uncured (nitrate free) bacon, but it had sugar and a few other items.
When there is not a bacon famine at TJs, they offer two uncured options with no additional flavors. One is TJs brand and one is Niman Ranch. The Niman Ranch I know is 100% natural and humanely raised. I wonder about the TJs, as it’s a fraction cheaper.
I’m trying not to be too legalistic in my Paleo quest, but I also want to make the best food choices I can (given other $ priorities in my life) as well as support farmers who are sustainable and treat their animals with respect.
Here’s to crossing my fingers my bacon is back on the shelves next week. And in the meantime, I’ll enjoy my sugar added but humanely raised bacon this weekend!