This is the best mail order bacon in the South – Garden & Gun

It is only a regular day in G&G THE OFFICE: Pen and paper in hand, twelve editors collect round a convention desk coated with bowls of freshly cooked bacon. There may be thick bacon and skinny bacon. Bacon slices are so extremely crunchy that you simply may be capable of smash them with one look, and others are so thick and chewy that you simply want a knife and fork. The scents permeating the room are intoxicating—and the giddiness of the hungry employees is contagious.

Everybody is aware of the South makes nice bacon, and we have rounded up practically a dozen of the most effective mail-in offers in an effort to seek out the most effective within the space. On the desk, every tray bears a quantity. We’ll style them blind, take notes, and charge them independently earlier than tallying up the outcomes and revealing which of them. We could must style some once more, simply to ensure we get it proper. It is a robust job, however somebody has to do it.

Photograph: Ally Salway
A pattern of the completely different manufacturers of bacon we examined.

For the sake of the sanctity of the expertise, we’re not supposed to debate our preliminary ideas with our fellow editors, so there are a couple of minutes of relative quiet — aside from the rogue mmmms And ahhhhs And the occasional stunned exclamation after a very salty chunk — earlier than the metaphorical wheels begin falling off from the exercise. Pencil marks turn out to be illegible as a result of grease-soaked thumbprints that stain the paper. Pens are slipping out of arms left and proper. One editor, who suffers from extreme sweating early on, has to sit down within the nook for a second to compose herself.

“My vegan dad and mom can be horrified,” says senior editor CJ Lutz Diego as she cracks one other chunk out of the rash. “for me “Dad can be jealous,” solutions government editor Amanda Heckert.

Though we do not advocate consuming that a lot bacon in a single sitting (I got here residence and loved a plate of uncooked carrots for dinner, and different editors reported salt-induced residue on the subsequent morning assembly), we do advocate making an attempt these meals Featured. in your free time And discover your favourite. And whereas e-newsletter editor Emily Day by day summed it up aptly when she stated, “I not often meet a bit of bacon I do not like,” just a few nominees rose to the highest of the checklist. Right here is our checklist of the highest mail-order bacon manufacturers within the South.

Higher total

After tallying up the votes, three Southern bacons acquired the best scores:

Benton Smoky Mountain Nation Pork
Madisonville, Tennessee

Photograph: Josh Walker

in g&g, We’ve lengthy proclaimed the gospel of Alan Benton, chronicling his adventures by way of Spain, and his friendship with… G&G Contributing Editor Latrea Graham, her recipe for pink eye broth. So it was no shock that even in a blind style take a look at, bacon prevailed. Due to its glorious fat-to-meat ratio, Benton bacon spends about three weeks curing and drying earlier than being smoked for 2 to 3 consecutive days, giving it a superbly spherical, smoky taste. Regardless of their thickness, every slice nonetheless manages to get a scrumptious crunch. It does not style like your grandmother’s bacon, and that is what we like about it.

Edwards Virginia Smokehouse
California, Missouri

Photograph: Josh Walker

Edwards Virginia Smokehouse was based in 1926 in Surry, Virginia, by the Edwards household, and was offered in 2021 to Missouri-based Burgers’ Smokehouse, which continues to supply its legendary nation ham and scrumptious bacon utilizing the identical recipes the household has adopted since Practically a century. Crunchy and flavorful, Edwards’ is maybe the crispest bacon on the desk, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture and well-balanced style. It was very tough to eat only one slice.

Café with out love
Nashville, Tennessee

Photograph: Josh Walker

Nashville’s Loveless Café has cemented its standing as a Music Metropolis establishment for a myriad of made-from-scratch causes, together with pork chops, fried hen, creamed corn, biscuits, and pink velvet cake. Now you’ll be able to add bacon to that checklist. With the fitting steadiness of fats and salt, this bacon is each thick and crunchy, making for a severely flavorful chunk that had our editors coming again for seconds and thirds (and I believe I noticed somebody sneak a fourth piece).

Honorable mentions

Monroe sausage (Greatest for nation ham lovers)
Beatrice, Alabama

Photograph: Josh Walker

Whereas bacon is completely different from ham, which is completely different from sausage, which is completely different from scrapple (and many others. and many others. and many others.), some cuts — like Monroe’s bacon — blur that line. This bacon is thick, meaty and really juicy for pork, and brings with it a pleasant gentle crunch and layered taste that deserves a spot on any breakfast plate (or any dish for that matter). Diego summed it up greatest in her notes: “Pig, chewy, flavorful, satisfying.”

Positive cured meat (It is higher to wrap issues up)
Jonesboro, Tennessee

Photograph: Josh Walker

While you take one chunk of a slice of bacon from CURED Positive Meats, it is clear that the meat itself is of top quality. Thick, agency bacon has a deep taste that goes past simply “salty and smoky.” It is delicate, candy, gentle and mellow, with a style that blossoms after just a few bites. This may pair nicely with different flavors, whether or not it is scallops, inexperienced beans, or jalapeno and duck breast.

4 Oaks Farm (Greatest on a sandwich)
(Lexington, South Carolina).

Photograph: Josh Walker

“It seems to be like cartoon bacon!” Digital intern Sadie Chaffee screamed when she noticed a bacon fryer at 4 Oaks Ranch. It tastes precisely as one may count on cardboard bacon to style: a bit smoky, a bit salty, and completely scrumptious. A ninety-mile-an-hour fastball down the middle of bacon, 4 Oaks Farm is an excellent mixture of crunchy and mushy that goes completely with a slice of tomato and a dollop of Duke mayonnaise on a slab of white bread.

Broadbent Hams (Greatest over a conventional breakfast plate)
Kuttawa, Kentucky

Photograph: Josh Walker

Beneath its thick, salty exterior, Broadbent bacon is surprisingly complicated in taste, starting from candy to smoky to virtually caramel, with fats and meat mixing nicely in each chunk. This wealthy taste and salty kick will go nicely with pancakes or pancakes drizzled with maple syrup.

Father’s Nation Pork (Greatest in Bloody Mary)
Bremen, Kentucky

Photograph: Josh Walker

Whereas salty, crispy bacon is probably not everybody’s cup of tea, it’s He’s Good in everybody’s cup of Bloody Mary. The salt on a bit of bacon from Father’s Nation Hams will dissolve completely in your morning cocktail, including a scrumptious twist to the drink and leaving the bacon crisp sufficient to proceed snacking on.

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