Friday, September 14, 2007

Local Rancher Gone National

After dinner in the Rockridge area of Oakland, My Beloved, our friend Zim and I found ourselves, last Friday night, window shopping along College Avenue with no specific destination in mind.

Luckily, the Market Hall Pasta Shop was still open, so we strolled in. In addition to fresh pasta, specialty oils, cookies, olives and all kinds of edibles, they also have a deli counter at which they sell meats such as salamis and, oh baby!, Niman Ranch nitrate free bacon.
Being prone to preservative headaches, I appreciate the lack of that kind of curing; I snagged some!

In preparation for our morning of bush whacking on the lower forty, I fried the bacon for our breakfast. This is not as meaty as the bacon from the Fatted Calf stall at the Berkeley Farmer's Market but it's lovely, smoky and slightly sweet, a fitting prelude to hard manual labor with tools.

Sadly, Niman Ranch was a local producer of bacon but they have since started getting their pork products from Iowa (the beef is still raised in Marin county). I have nothing against Iowa and, in fact, if you are reading this in Iowa, lucky you, as it is "local" to you - but here in the Bay area, it no longer qualifies as eating locally.

Still, it's good bacon and it gives staying power for nasty weekend chores.


Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

isn't a tiny cheat allowed? Just now and again? Good bacon is so hard to find afterall.

Friday, September 14, 2007  
Blogger Anita said...

I was under the (mis?)impression that Niman was more of a cooperative these days, getting their meat from all over. Yes, their pork operations are based in Iowa, so they're not really local in the purist/purest sense. We buy almost all of our pork (raw and cured) from Prather Ranch, Marin Sun, or Fatted Calf these days, but when I'm standing at the supermarket counter, I don't feel bad about buying Niman.

Hmm, seems I have a question to ask at the farmers market tomorrow about whether they have any local farms. Their website is suspiciously vague.

Friday, September 14, 2007  
Blogger Dagny said...

Mmmmm. Bacon. I must admit that I don't really care too much about the source as long as it's good. And I've always enjoyed the meats from Niman.

Saturday, September 15, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

DMM, I cheat all the time, and often without shame! :-)

Anita, it's interesting, isn't it, when you start to really analyze how "local" is "local?"

Dagny, you've got the right attitude - if it tastes good, do it! :-)

Saturday, September 15, 2007  
Blogger Rev. Biggles said...

I ain't got no darned time for locality. Man, I don't even have time to post on Meathenge.

Hey Zoom, you tried the debecca applewood smoked bacon at El Cerrito Natural (El Nat)? I haven't had it in a while, but it sure was good and worth the trip.


Sunday, September 16, 2007  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Biggles, I should have known that a post about bacon would bring you back! Been missing your trenchant comments. No, I haven't tried that bacon - I'll look for the store, though, maybe next weekend. Thanks for the tip!

Sunday, September 16, 2007  

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