Thursday, February 17, 2011

Liquid bacon

There’s been a lot in the press lately about supermarkets duping customers by selling bacon that’s pumped up with huge quantities of water, which is not reflected in the ingredients on the packaging. This means that shoppers are effectively paying for water which boils away during cooking and there can be a weight loss of anything up to 45%. 
Truth is the practice of injecting rashers with liquid brine has been used in South Africa for decades, so it’s nothing new and we’re not the only ones doing it.  Recent tests in the UK showed that bacon sold in some of their leading supermarkets had up to 13% water added (legally they only have to declare this if it exceeds 10%, which is already quite a lot of water). Thing is I’ve been told on good authority, that the figure in this country is a whole lot higher.  
The producers of commercial bacon claim that adding liquid is a necessary part of the process but I can assure you that it’s not; it’s just a lucrative ploy which also happens to speed up the process. And don’t let them fool you that they do it to improve succulence because,  in fact, all  that it does do is wash out flavour and while you’re frying the slices they spit fat, take ages to brown if at all, and shrivel to a fraction of their original size.
I’m out to cure the world. 

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