Around this time last year, the breakfast and brunch website, Extra Crispy posted a job listing to fill the position it officially called, “Bacon Critic.” According to the listing, this dream job was a short term assignment that involved a few months of, “researching, writing about, obsessing over, and critiquing bacon." You may have missed the opportunity to be a professional bacon taster, but the position did get filled by a hardworking human named Scott Gold. For the past few months, Gold has been been working toward one major thing, and it was finally published. It's his masterpiece, the ultimate guide to the best bacon in America.
In his guide to America’s best bacon, Gold didn’t just name the best of the best, he also gave out what he called Bacon Superlatives. Those include Best Non-Belly Bacon, Best "Wild" Bacon, Best Fruity Bacon, and Best Dinner Bacon. The superlative that's probably most useful to us more casual bacon eaters was the Best All-Purpose, No-Frills Supermarket Bacon. Gold bestowed that title upon Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon. He praised this particular bacon for it versatility, writing, "It's thick but not too thick...hefty enough to wrap around shrimp or scollops, chop up for a Cobb Salad or deviled eggs, or just to fry up when you have a wicked hangover." Gold also points out that you can find this "no fuss" bacon in regular grocery stores all over the country.
When it comes to the best of the best though, the bacon critic mostly named pork from smaller farms around the country that may be harder to find depending on where you live. Drawing inspiration from March Madness, Scott Gold named a Final Four for the top bacons in America, and number one on the list is Vande Rose Farms Applewood-Smoked Artisan Dry-Cured Bacon.
According to the piece, Vande Rose isn't just one farm, it's actually an Iowa-based collective whose Duroc pork is sourced from several farms. Gold explained what it's like to eat this particular Vande Rose bacon, saying, "The applewood smoke rides nicely in the background as the cut and pork take over." He says none of the bacon's many incredible elements overpowers any other, but instead they come together for a taste that's "nothing short of brilliant." After reading the poetic words Gold wrote about this bacon, we were ready to try it as soon as possible, but it might be hard to find in stores. Don't worry though, we figured out that you can order some Vande Rose Farms bacon on Goldbely for those special occasions when classic Smithfields doesn't cut it. Once we taste it we'll know for sure if this man who has so diligently dedicated the last several months of his life to bacon was right.