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Fall/Winter 2009

Bring Home the Bacon

By LeeAnne Jones

“Perhaps no food is more guilt-inducing than bacon—forbidden by religions, disdained by dietitians and doctors,” declares about America’s seemingly rebellious bacon craze. Well, what if it’s made by salumist John Stewart and chef Duskie Estes, the husband-and-wife team behind Zazu and Bovolo restaurants? And what if it came to you freshly smoked every month?
Forget the guilt, and bring on the bacon, with Sonoma County’s first Bacon of the Month Club. For $110, members receive a year of monthly packages of Black Pig Meat Co. bacon, which is made from antibiotic- and hormone-free pork, dry-cured with brown sugar for up to 21 days, and then finished with 12 hours of applewood smoking. That sure beats typical grocery-store bacon, which is often injected with brine and liquid smoke.
“People love it,” says Estes. “The bacon is different than any other. It’s all about the fat—it pops in your mouth. And it’s perfectly balanced in terms of salt, sweet, and smoke.”
Stewart and Estes are exploring two future flavors: guanciale, which comes from hog jowl, and root beer–cured. The latter was inspired by their daughter, Mackenzie, who enjoys bacon dipped in root beer.
Visit to sign up and to print bacon recipes.

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