Food & Drink » Glenda Bartosh on Food

Make mine a bacon-ista special

Better yet, make it a double!

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But it's the BLLT — bacon, lobster, lettuce and tomato sandwich — that Jordan Cash and I are both after.

Jordan is another one of those Torontonians who's found his groove on the West Coast, in this case spinning his unique doughnuts to the world out of his hole-in-the-wall doughnut shop, Cartems Donuterie, at the edgy edge of Carrall and Hastings in Vancouver. Get there early because his maple, bourbon, bacon doughnuts sell out, and no wonder.

These little babies are right up there with pure bacon heaven in my books. Perfectly balanced between savory and not-too-sweet, they weigh about half a pound each.

No, they're not heavy in your stomach — they're heavy with delight and real-food ingredients, starting with Anita's organic flour out of Chilliwack and Rabbit River farm eggs from Richmond then topped off with a good bourbon glaze and big, tasty chunks of double-smoked, candied bacon made right in Jordan's commercial kitchen facility, Woodlands Smokehouse and Commissary, near Commercial Drive.

Have one with a glass of milk and call it the best lunch ever!

"The secret is to use really good bacon. It's not store-bought, it's not packaged, it's organic bacon," says Jordan, who makes the dough, runs the place and still loves to ski and snowboard and get up to Whistler as much as he can. (In fact, he'd love to find an outlet for these babies at Whistler, home of the eternal need for a good-tasting, energy-loaded, ethical quick snack.)

"We smoke it and cure it in-house, so that makes a really, really big difference, and we do use a bit of the bacon fat itself," he says.

On this point we both agree again.

The plusses of cooking with bacon fat are often overlooked. Cook up some onions or hash browns to a golden crispiness in bacon fat — easy perfection. Or instead of drizzling half a fresh tomato with olive oil, sprinkling it with cheese and some tasty herbs and grilling it in your little toaster oven or big granddaddy of an energy-sucking oven, try flipping it cut side down and slow-cooking it in some bacon fat left over from your last bacon bonanza — amazing!

Now you're tapping into a secret that the French and Italian cooks have known about for centuries. Cooking with a soft-textured pork fat like bacon adds both flavour and succulence to just about anything. Good patient chefs will even add thin splinters of pork fat to lean meat by using larding needles.

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