I’ve cooked plenty of bacon in my time in Australia. A lot of it involved laying it out on a tray and sticking it all in an oven. You would be remiss to think that there’s no skill involved in that. I say that is true but you’d still need to understand that you have to lay it out with the right balance between space and volume of bacon. Then there’s the oven time and temp. Of course I much prefer cooking bacon on a grill or super hot pan. Either implement uses the same idea, extremely high heat conduction to crisp up the bacon with some Maillard lovin’.

So far, the best bacon I can find in a supermarket/deli has been Bok’s Bacon. At almost $10 for 4 rashers or 250g worth of bacon, it is nearly 3 times the price of regular bacon. Also, it’s not available everywhere. I get mine at Thomas Dux, the closest thing to a deli where I live. Of course, I’m sure some small town country bumpkin will tell me they can get better artisanal bacon on some farm in some unpronounceable aboriginal name only used because of a combination of white guilt and laziness. Still, I don’t live there so I gotta get the best I can.

Boks used to be small scale artisanal Tasmanian made stuff but they’ve now grown larger and source their pigs from the mainland as well. They still try to maintain quality, as you would but it’s clear that it’s a lot more difficult as your size increases. The other problem is most bacon eaters just want rubbish bacon. So Boks is trying to find some kind of middle ground. Their 250g rasher packs you can find at delis are still supposed to be their top notch stuff though, no compromises there at all. At the Dux, it sometimes flies off the shelves. Testament to its goodness or the deep pockets of locals maybe.

When I saw the packet for the first time, I was intrigued. Not that it cost so much but that it was marbled slightly and the meat itself was translucent. More like jamon or prosciutto than bacon. All my sheltered life, I’d only ever seen that bullshit bacon which is opaque pink. Now I know that stuff isn’t 100% bacon but bacon pumped with water/brine. So real smoked bacon looks somewhat raw. Tip right there.

Taste wise, the bacon’s great. Not as good as I’d hope but pretty damn good. They leave the rind on so it gets crackling like after I was done searing the thing. The meat itself is flavorful and not overly salty. There’s also this really lovely aroma of honey and caramel from the plate even after I’m done eating. Decent amount of fat as well makes things smacking.

If there is a better bacon, someone please point me to where I can kop.