06
May
10

Baconalia! Review: Black Forest Bacon and Unibroue La Fin Du Monde

Black Forest Bacon with Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde

This week, for the sake of accuracy on the internet, I revisited a bacon.  I suspected that it wasn’t that the bacon wasn’t memorable the first time around, but more that I ate A LOT of bacon and drank a little bit of beer that night…toss in that  “that night” occurred almost two months ago and I am old, and well, it seemed kind of prudent to eat more bacon.  It was also a completely valid excuse to nom a third of a pound of bacon for a snack.  I paired the black forest bacon with Unibroue’s La Fin Du Monde, which is from (French) Canada.  The Canadian bacon thing was an isolated incident, to illustrate a point.  The point was that even though Canada took the gold(s) in Olympic hockey, America takes the gold(s) in bacon.

“Black forest” makes me think cake.  This was not cake, although there is a chance there will eventually be some sort of bacon cake; bacon baked goods* are definitely on the docket for Baconalia II.  This would be a good bacon to incorporate in a bacon baked good project, as it is a fairly subtle side of pork.  It was a little sweet, a little smoky, and a little salty.  Definitely less salty than the average bacon. (NB: I do not buy reduced sodium bacon.)  One of the main problems that I’ve had when baking with bacon is adjusting the salt in a recipe, so that the salt from the bacon does not overpower.  One time I made bacon brownies and sprinkled sea salt on their tops; that was not my best plan ever.

I enjoyed this bacon; it is a little different than standard bacon, but not too far off – a minor variation.  Sadly, I just don’t have that much to say about it because its differences were so subtle.  I thought that maybe it was just me that had that experience – hence the rationalizing of a second, private tasting for myself.  I even asked the butcher what was in it: barley malt, for one, so it’s NOT gluten-free.  After my second go failed to produce any specific passions, I asked my most bacophile friend for her thoughts.  Her verdict matched mine: It was bacon; I like bacon.  

While the bacon in this pairing was somewhat passive, the beer was not.  In its 9% ABV glory, La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue made its presence known.  Like its paired bacon, this beer was a little bit sweet, but that is not its defining characteristic.  I’m not exactly sure what aspect of it hits me most over the head – well, other than the alcohol content – but the strong carbonation and rich blend of baking spices are the definite frontrunners.  In other combinations I tried to avoid the potential for the beverage to overpower the food, but in this combination I embraced that role reversal.  Instead of the bacon being the star of the pairing it was the complement.  Admittedly, I saw the black forest bacon the morning of Baconalia! when I was at the market for some (other) last-minute purchases.  It was an impulse buy and I matched it with La Fin Du Monde on a whim – I know it to be a solid beer and I had some on hand that was not assigned to anything.  It ended up becoming a baking pairing in my head.  The spices in LFDM are ones I love using when baking (e.g. cloves, nutmeg, vanilla) regardless of what any recipe suggests and the black forest bacon is one I would totally use in bacon baked goods. 

Overall this pairing was pleasant, but not mind-blowing.  Everybody ate it, but it was neither anyone’s favorite nor anyone’s least favorite.  (Canadian bacon was a pretty universal least favorite…gee, wonder why…)  Not only would I buy it again, but I already DID buy it again.  Like the bacophile said: It was bacon; I like bacon.

* Probably cookies

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