This special pepper-coated bacon has been made in the foothills of Mt. Petit Jean in Arkansas by the Ruff Family for over 60 years. Each slab is cured in a “family secret” wet brine of salt, sugar and spices for four or five days. It’s smoked over hickory for just under 24 hours, rolled in brown sugar and finally hand-rubbed with cracked black peppercorns.
It has a cult-like fan club here in Ann Arbor, where some people add two slices to their sandwich (no matter what else is inside) and head home with a pound for Sunday breakfast. Personally, I like it because it’s got a great sense of balance. Less sweet than you think, not too spicy and very rich and meaty. It’s great on burgers. Makes a show-stopping BLT. Crumble a bit on a salad or lay a couple slices next to an asparagus-filled omelet. You can’t miss.