Growing up in the south east of England I was spoilt with amazing produce to the south is the sea and in all other directions within a 10k radius there are farms, butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers. Of course England is the motherland of bacon we have been producing it since the Middle Ages.
It is simple really, after landing on Australian soil something didn't quite fit right and it wasn't being cold in July. It did take me a while to put my finger on it… it was the quality of bacon available in Australia!!! It is more like a ham made out of the loin or belly, it takes a week to make from start to finish including delivery (this is a fast turn around) most producers go from raw pork to “bacon” in 2 days and use pork that is imported meaning they can charge less for “bacon” than they can for the raw product? This didn’t make sense to me. I’m used to bacon that takes at least 2 weeks made from local pigs.
There are a few inspired souls out there making bacon with integrity that rivals what I had in abundance growing up, but unfortunately in the land Down-under they are few and far between. One of these food heroes is based in Melbourne, Peter Bouchier, they have a high quality butchers shop that specialises in beautiful meat, sausages and also amazing dry cured cold smoked bacon, I have said for years the best in Australia.
So began my quest to make honest, real, comforting, family breakfast bacon that I had grown up with. Where Pups would make a fry up and the smell would pick you up and carry you down the stairs to those wonderful weekend mornings, spent with your family unit.
I suppose I just want to pass on that feeling to those around me far and wide so they can make those memories for their children, it takes more than just bacon but it is a great start on cementing that memory for years to come.
Recently I have been introduced to Charlie at Pialligo Estate, Canberra and his bacon, It is safe to say there is a new challenger in town who has perfected his recipe and it reminds me a lot of the bacon I grew up with. Charlie’s passion is incredible and inspiring, he has a wealth of knowledge and I cant wait to head down to see him one day soon, his product is also available in Sydney.
My mission has already taken me to many great places, taught me a lot and given me many great experiences. I have met many artisan producers all over the world, spent time with the amazing people, worked at The Weald Smokery ( Read the Blog here) a traditional smoke house in the south east of England, and had many great conversations with passionate people. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.