Jeremy "Smie" Smiedendorf is a service star in our Service Center at Zingerman's Mail Order.
If everyone likes something, I go the opposite way. Out of spite, I never liked the Dave Matthews Band until years after that fad had ended (it ended, right?). So when I started seeing applewood smoked bacon in every store and restaurant, I turned to cherrywood. Nueske’s cherrywood smoked bacon is less in your face than the more popular, more outgoing applewood. It’s not too salty, not too smoky. It’s more laid back, more like a smooth “hey, what’s up, I’m cherrywood.”
What I like about it beyond the flavor is how Nueske’s sources the meat and cures the bacon. Nueske’s gets their Pietrain breed hogs from farmers they’ve been working with for decades. Then they cure the bacon using celery salt rather than synthetically made nitrates. (Due to that celery salt, the USDA requires that label must say “uncured,” which is nonsense because this bacon is as cured as they get.)
I love cherrywood bacon on a wedge salad – somehow, even though bacon is generally salty, the particular smoky sweetness of this bacon manages to cut the salt of a strong Gorgonzola. I also like it as a side for scrambled eggs or biscuits. But my favorite way to cook it is on the grill. I wait til the charcoal has died down a bit and then put it on the grill directly over the coals to start, then move it to the side to finish cooking. It’s kind of double smoked that way. Then I’ll put it on chicken or steak or a burger and have an awesome double meat concoction. Neat!
Bacon maniacs—pick up our Bacon All-Stars Refrigerator Magnet.