The story of our new bacon

Our free farmed bacon’s just earned itself the SPCA tick, making it some of the best bacon you can get in NZ. We’re pretty chuffed, so we thought we’d celebrate with a fancy new look.

What makes Kiwi Bacon better?

  • We’re going to be the third country in the world to ban sow stalls from 2015. In fact, our farmers have already done it, well ahead of the deadline.
  • The New Zealand pork industry uses no growth hormones and use of antibiotics is strictly controlled.
  • Bacon with the SPCA tick means it meets the highest standard of care for the animals it comes from.
  • All products branded Kiwi are guaranteed 100% NZ Farmed meat (look for the NZ Pork Board logo on front of pack).

The History of Bacon

Until well into the sixteenth century, bacon or “bacoun” was a Middle English term used to refer to all pork. You’ve probably heard the phrase “bring home the bacon”. In the twelfth century, a church in Dunmow, England, offered a side of bacon to any married man that could go a year and a day without arguing with his wife. A man that brought home the bacon was well respected in his community. Reckon you could pull that off?

How’s Bacon Made?

First, the meat’s cured in brine. This preserves it, boosts the flavour and helps to make the meat tender. It’s massaged to help the brine soak in, then smoked using traditional smoking methods. Smoking adds colour and flavour, and again helps with preservation. Finally, it’s frozen so that it can be sliced and packed. After that, it ends up in your pan (obviously the most important step).

How to Store Bacon?

You can get 5 days out of your bacon if you put any unused pieces into an airtight container after opening (of course, you’d have to keep yourself from eating it all first). It’ll also last up to 6 months in the freezer.

Going Bacon Shopping?

When you’re looking for your next bacon fix, make sure that’s all you’re getting. Lower quality bacon contains excess water (called purge), meaning it’s been pumped with brine. You should also check that the pack features the 100% NZ Pork logo, as well as the SPCA tick. Lastly, double check the expiry date just to be safe.

What’s the Best Way to Cook Bacon?

Take the bacon out of the fridge thirty minutes before cooking, the slices should separate easily. You can fry, bake or microwave your bacon, just remember to keep a close eye on it.
Here are a few tips for the best results:

  • Cook slowly and keep turning it to reduce shrinkage.
  • Prick it with a fork to prevent curling.
  • Drain bacon on paper towels once it’s cooked.

What’s Free Farmed Bacon?

Free Farmed refers to sows being farmed outdoors in paddocks with shelter provided to protect them from the elements, as well as huts for breeding. The sows can move from their shelters to the paddock freely. Most importantly, there are no sow stalls or crates to be seen.

All Kiwi Bacon is free farmed at Patoa Farms in North Canterbury, winners of the South Island Farmers of the Year for 2014. Can’t beat that.