This weekend at the Pearl Brewery Farmer's Market we picked up two different kinds of bacon from Kocurek Family Charcuterie. We got Czech bacon and English bacon and decided to have a BLT off between the two.
The picture below shows the Czech bacon on the left and English bacon on the right.
Smelling both bacons before pan frying them it was apparent these were definitely not Oscar Mayer over processed cuts. They both smelled truly smoked and cured. It was a distinct heavy smokiness that made my mouth water. I started cooking the Czech bacon first since I felt like I needed to cook it more like traditional bacon. I heated it up slowly so I could avoid the inevitable under cooked curls that pop up when you throw cold bacon into a hot pan.
Taste wise the Czech bacon didn't have the over powering saltiness of store bought bacon. Some might say that lack of saltiness is a minus. I would disagree and say the lack of saltiness is a plus. It lets you actually taste the bacon instead of eating a fatty piece of salt lick.
I wasn't sure how long to cook the English bacon. Since it was more like a slice of ham than traditional bacon I didn't cook it nearly as long. I just waited until it got some good brown spots and the whole piece started to curl again. The thin trim of fat around the English bacon disintegrated within a minute or two of putting it in the skillet.
The taste and texture of the English bacon was exactly what I expected based on how it looked. It tasted like a slice of ham minus the heavy salt. The texture though was more "meaty" than sliced ham from the grocery store.
We tried both hams on BLTS and as individual strips. Both were good but my personal preference was the English bacon. It may just be the fact that I've been conditioned to salty bacon but (as a sandwich topper) the Czech bacon didn't quite do it for me. I think some of that may have been that I just overcooked the Czech bacon.
As a side with eggs I would probably lean more towards the Czech bacon. Both bacons were great and it was really fun to try something other than Oscar Mayer processed pork.