Thursday, 27 January 2011

Telling Porkies

I had been planning to blog about Toad in the Hole tonight but that will have to wait until I have a new charger for my camera. Instead, after reading a very interesting article in the paper today I thought I'd write about something that really irks me (yes, something else). Water in bacon.

Normally I'm no foodie - to me an egg is an egg; a chicken is a chicken and bread is bread. Unless it's Tesco Value bread in which case it's dampish bog roll. But one thing I am quite discerning about is bacon. Me and Big Man love a bacon and Stilton bagel for Sunday brunch, which is okay because I grill it. But when I'm making a Bacon and Egg Flan and 'brown' (ha ha, as if!) the bacon in a frying pan first I end up almost boiling it in all the water that comes out. What's all that about? I have a couple of cookery books that I use that have recipes from WWII - 'We'll Eat Again'; 'Post War Kitchen'; and 'The Victory Cook Book'. They quite often tell you to fry some bacon and use the fat that comes out of it to fry other stuff in. You couldn't do that nowadays.

So this article, based on Which? findings, was about the amount of water that different stores pump into the bacon that they sell. It said that when the amount is over a certain percentage it should, by law, be listed as an ingredient. In the list given in the paper, Morrisons had both the highest AND the lowest % of added water - their Sizzlers Rindless Unsmoked Back had 13% (!!!!) but their Value Rindless Back only had 3%. Waitrose had the second highest - Essential Unsmoked British Back had 12%. Lidl had the second lowest - their Medalisk has 5% water.
Now, maybe the paper only printed the most extreme examples but it bears out something I discovered last time I made a Bacon and Egg Flan. I had gone to Morrisons with Big Man because he wanted to try some wine his dad Patsy had recommended and I bought some own-brand value bacon ends, just to show willing. You know, the cooking bacon mis-shapes? Well, it was the most delicious bacon I've had in years...thick chunky pieces; not slimy at all like a lot of bacon - quite a dry feel; and when I fried it off, no water came out at all. That was maybe 500g for just over £1. Bargain. I've still got half of it in the freezer, that I am guarding like a miser. All the time I've bought expensive bacon and been disappointed when I could have been spending a pittance at Morrisons and snarfing down delicious non-watery pig. I've been a fool!!!

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