So in an earlier thread, I was on the hunt for local, pasture-raised bacon and I landed on Perth Pork Products as my choice. I picked up 10 pounds of bacon from the owner/farmer Fred de Martines yesterday. I met him at the Healthy Butcher on Eglinton (he makes other stops in the city on a weekly basis). We went out to the alley behind the store where his truck was parked and made our cash transaction there -- it was pretty funny as it felt like we were doing a drug deal.
I packaged up most of the bacon and froze it, but left a sheet out to make for breakfast today. Well, yeehaw, that is some damn good bacon! I believe Fred said they use applewood to smoke it. The bacon is porky and smokey, without being overwhelmingly so, and it's got just the right amount of salt for my palate. I can't stand overly smokey (or worse -- fake smokey) or salty bacon. It fried up beautifully and gave off a reasonable amount of fat, but NO water at all. The texture was crisp with just a little bit of chew in the meatier sections. Perfect.
I never got to try the Milbree Viking bacon before the fire, but my hunt for great bacon is over. The bacon is from Berkshire pigs that get to hang out in the fields and forage and graze on their own. Fred said that his local abattoir does the curing and smoking, using his own specifications.
The bacon is a ridiculously reasonable $4.79 a pound, which is less than half the price of the bacon from Bruno's that was my go to choice. I'm not sure if there is a minimum order or not. I imagine that the biggest challenge for most people is setting up a meet up, since Fred only comes to Toronto once a week and you have to be flexible about your meeting time.
You can find out more about Perth at their website:
I should also give a big shout out to the guys at the Healthy Butcher, who were incredibly nice. Fred and I had a slight miscommunication and he brought me two unsliced slabs of bacon, rather than sliced. But no worries, the guys at the Healthy Butcher were happy to slice all 10 pounds of the bacon for me. It's not a store I get to often because the location is awkward for parking, but given the quality of the products and the super nice people that work there, I need to get there more often. The huge variety of sausages in particular were calling my name. And I'll also say that the place is spotless (I got to walk through the work area to get to the back alley).