- Food and Cooking
Five Top Brands of Organic Bacon
Introduction and Criteria
In addition to a widely loved stand alone food eaten in strips, the recipes that bacon can be used in are too numerous to mention. It enjoys widespread use in the Paleo and Primal diets. However, there is a caveat. It must be well sourced. Which means, it must not come from a factory farm, it cannot come from pigs that have been given growth hormones, nor antibiotics. Pigs should have a diet that is more consistent with what they eat in the wild, and should be free range.
With that established, since all the bacon brands that will be reviewed meet the above listed health and sourcing criteria, what will separate these from others is: the quality of the taste, the texture, and the easiness of cooking.
Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon
Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon is not hard to find. It is not only carried in natural grocery stores , but is also found in many chain grocery stores and supermarkets. It is on the expensive side as far as bacon goes - you will pay almost the same price for an 8 ounce package as you would for twelve ounces of some other brands. They preserve their bacon using sea salt and celery juice.
Applegate bacon has a very balanced flavor of sweetness versus smokiness, and is not especially salty. It doesn't have much of a porky flavor. Because the slices are on the thinner side, it does not require as much cooking as some of the other brands. It yields an especially tractable bite, and has a light, airy texture in the mouth.
On a short tangent, I would also recommend checking out some of their other products such as their chicken cold cuts and natural pepperoni, which you can use to make Paleo pizza.
This brand of bacon, as of 2015, is currently sold exclusively at Whole Foods Market. Hopefully, that will change in the future.
Wellshire heavily contrasts with Applegate bacon in that there is no sugar. Hence, there is no balance between sweet and smoke, but rather between smoke and spice. It is spicier than the average brand, with black pepper, white pepper, nutmeg, fenugreek, mace, and allspice added to the pork. The main similarity to Applegate is that it is also preserved in sea salt.
Another contrast is the thickness of each slice. Wellshire is sliced thicker than the average brand of bacon, so it will need to cook longer to get the desired degree of "doneness". However, it is very reliable in its consistency of time needed. It has an ideal degree of saltiness to add to the smoky spiciness, along with a very meaty texture.
Organic Prairie Organic Hardwood Smoked Uncured Bacon
This is the very definition and essence of the term "farm fresh". The freshness that this brand possesses is truly unique. It contains a flavor that is less salty than the average bacon, and has an exceptionally strong aroma when it is being cooked. The flavor is not balanced as it is not sweet at all, and only slightly salty. It has a rich, smoky flavor, with a wooden accent.
It is softer in texture due to its richness, which it owes to its high fat content, being higher in its ratio to meat than some of the other brands. It goes wonderfully with any recipe where you desire a smoky flavor; it will permeate the dish very pleasantly.
Pederson's Farms Natural Sugar Free Bacon
This brand is found in many health food stores. This particular brand, which is preserved in salt and celery juice, is minimally processed and Whole30 approved.
Being sugar free, it goes without saying that this is not a sweet flavored bacon. In addition, this bacon has no added spices. Preserved in salt and celery powder, water, and vinegar, this minimally processed uncured bacon has a hickory flavor coming from the smoked treatment. It has an average ratio of fat to meat, and the slices are slightly on the thick side, so they need to be cooked just a bit longer than average.
Whole Foods 365 Uncured Applewood Smoked Bacon
This is the name brand of the health store chain of Whole Foods Market. It also has a very distinctive and exceptionally strong, pleasant aroma when cooking, that will fill your house. It is preserved with sea salt, along with a minimal amount of sugar, and a concoction of spices that Whole Foods does not specify.
When you put it in your mouth, consequently, you will experience a hint of sweetness, a moderate amount of spice, both of which will be dwarfed by a powerful wooden and smoky flavor. The texture is light, and the cut is thick, so be more generous with the time for your preferred doneness. It may take a little tinkering of trial and error before you get it just right. However, you will not be disappointed with the experience.