TL;DW version: Because it’s fucking delicious!
Good thing I buy nitrate free bacon.
Eh, It was probably more like half really skilled marketing from the Pork Industry, ( http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2014-10-06/bacon-why-americas-favorite-food-mania-happened ) and half food science figuring out a way to par-cook bacon so that it could be quickly heated and put on the top of fast food burgers while retaining some quality mouthfeel.
Add a side of anti anti fat, and some of the usual salt/fat/meat flavor, and you’ve got a movement.
Oh jebus, I should wire my jaw shut…
That is almost entirely not true. What you are buying is unlikely to be cured with this:
But extremely likely to be cured with this:
Guess where refined nitrates in Prague Powder come from (it ain’t salt Peter any more). And the kicker is if nitrates come from plants, producers can legally advertise their product as uncured or nitrate free.
Even though they have nitrates.
Charcuterie, Rhulman and Polcyn page 38.
Also as McGee noted, the smoking process is likely more toxis than the curing. Page 78.
Hem and haw, how pedantic do I feel today… Ah shit pretty damn pedantic.
The par-cooking you described was invented approximately six trillion years ago, and is a cross between cold and hot smoking. In fact if you make bacon yourself and smoke it to the proper temp, it is cooked. (Just not very pleasant).
Damnit, now I have to go source some pork bellies and backs. Can’t neglect rashers!!
My bacon is pretty clear: No nitrates or nitrites added except for the naturally occurring nitrates in sea salt & celery powder. Ingredients: Pork, water, sea salt, turbinado sugar, celery powder. I’m guessing there’s more nitrates in a stick of celery than in a slice of bacon. I could be wrong, but I’m not gonna fret over it.
And the smoking process? I live in Central Texas. The other smoked meats I eat will kill me before the bacon does.
Well, but that’s kinda the point I’m making, right? Nitrates aren’t gonna kill you, whether they are from celery or Prague Powder. And celery Powder has a hell of a lot more nitrates than even a head of celery (remember, they are mostly water and fiber).
So go forth and enjoy the cured bounty (but not too much, its fairly calorie dense :D)
Shit, I totally missed an important point.
Curing Powder adds a certain umami, salty flavor, but using vegetables to cure brings more flavor to the party. Celery and spinach cured meats are frequently better because the producers care about how they taste. Pink salt is really only superior when you want to taste Just Meat.
(Man I used to live next to an enormous Chinese food center, and their bellies were cheap and tasty. I miss that place.)
@paxsimius “Nitrate Free” bacon is loaded with nitrates, they just use nitrates refined from vegetables (like celery) and sea salts. It is a labeling/marketing trick/lie. Smoking also adds natural nitrates. Does your bacon look pink and taste like bacon? If so then it loaded full of delicious nitrates. Without them it would be a grey colored meat and is called sliced pork belly. It is used in many Asian dishes and doesn’t taste at all like bacon despite being the exact same meat cut.
Trust me I smoke and cure meats as a hobby. There is no such thing as nitrate free bacon that tastes like bacon. Nitrate free pork belly tastes like a regular pork chop.
@japhroaig umami is the god of flavors before which I bow. umami or gtfo of my mouth.
What he said >:)
ok, so this was some straight up bullshit. Nitrites virtually eliminate the chance of botulism when curing pork for bacon. And in the final smoked delicious product are in such trace amounts that it affects you not at all. Look to all the other processed crap that is consumed now for the harmful chemicals you ingest. I actually had to stop the video because it was such crap. And fat? Don’t get me started about that… idiotic video.
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