Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Two weeks ago, I was inexplicably hit by an intense craving for a bacon sandwich. (General bacon cravings being a rather normal occurrence, I'm afraid). It started when I had a BLT at work on my break. I carefully removed the bacon from the sandwich, and grilled them separately, thus maximising the bacon crunch factor when both sandwich and bacon were, joyfully, reunited. There was lettuce, there was melted cheese, there was tomato, there was toasty bread, there was mayo and there was crunchy bacon. Good lord, it was good. But after that, I couldn't get the idea of a pure bacon sandwich out of my head. The type I read about in Nigel Slater books, the type that 'ard bastards eat in English cop shows - soft white bread, butter, bacon fat, crispy streaky bacon.
I went so far as to do some internet research on the topic. It seems that there are people out there who are absolutely passionate about bacon butties. (Butty is a Northern English word for sandwich. You could also say "sarnie", but I am a big fan of alliteration). According to a scientific study (no joke), an integral part of a successful bacon butty is the aural factor - i.e. how loud the crunch is when you bite into it.
So, a couple of days later, I decided to have this treat for breakfast. I bought myself the whitest-of-white breads: a white bap from Baker's Delight. I looked for streaky bacon, but couldn't find any at my local butcher or supermarket. I think that health consciousness is really on the up-and-up. I ended up "settling" for some lovely free range, non-hormoned lean bacon from a fabulous local butcher. I wouldn't get too precious about it either way though; I hardly think that the original versions of these sandwiches, served in greasy spoons all over the UK, include such distinguished bacon. But I digress. I fried said bacon in my black steel pan, spread some butter on the inside of the bap, and (oh dear) used the bread to mop up the pan juices once the bacon was cooked. I wasn't even hungover. What can I say? It was a strong craving.
As you can imagine, it tasted great, but even halfway through I'd developed a slightly sick feeling in my stomach. This was the least healthy breakfast I could have had, and I don't recommend that it be eaten on a regular basis by anyone who values the use of their arteries. As a once off, however, it seemed ok. And it totally killed my bacon butty craving. The next day, I was back on my usual porridge breakfast with great enthusiasm. What is it they say about needing to hit rock bottom before turning your life around?