(Because the third installment should always be in 3D.)
This month’s package had a lot of flavors going on: it was Maple-Dried Chili-Fennel bacon. When we learned what the bacon would be seasoned with, Fox and I had slightly differing reactions, because while I love fennel (good Italian that I am), she’s not particularly a fan. So, with excitement (plus a dash of trepidation), we dove in and started cooking.
Once we’d cooked two strips lightly and two more
way too a little more heavily, we plated up and got ready to dig in.
Crested Duck Maple-Dried Chili-Fennel Bacon
Fattiness: 9. Again, we’ve got high marks for the fattiness. Also, once again, the bacon was terrifically difficult to pry apart into single strips without shredding them. Since we ran into this last month as well, I did a little more thinking on it, and I’m realizing it’s probably due to the vacuum-packing the bacon receives, rather than it just being a function of the fattiness.
Flavor: 7. The fennel ended up being not as bad as expected, according to Fox. However, we both noticed that from strip to strip the potency and balance of the flavors seemed to vary quite a bit. You’d have one strip that was very mild on the chili and heavy on the fennel, giving it an Italian sausage vibe, while another would kick it up a notch on the spice and leave you with a Southwestern feel. The inconsistency is the reason for the markdown here.
Saltiness: 8. We had a similar result to last month; the saltiness began to dominate the longer we cooked the bacon. With a lighter cooking, the saltiness was one color of many; a few minutes longer on the stove and it became primary.
Cooking Survival: 8. The bacon survived a lengthy crisping, but as with last month we would have to recommend as short a frying period as you are comfortable with. The flavors here are kind of delicate and get lost in the mix during a longer cook.
While this month’s installment of Crested Duck’s Bacon Club wasn’t our favorite, next month promises to be a real winner: stop by in April for our review of…Thai Green Curry bacon! Whaaaaa?
(To see how this month’s review stacks up against every other, check out the entire Bacon of the Month suite.)