Ahh, the perks of being a food blogger. Sure, I’ve received products to review, hosted giveaways, and met some amazing food blogger friends throughout my 2+ years blogging here, but I gotta say, being invited to a BACON TASTING PARTY has got to be up there in my top 10 food blogging experiences.
That’s right, a Bacon. Tasting. Party!!
Tim Horton’s (which holds a very fond place in my heart from my years spent in Canada) was generous enough to invite me and a few other food bloggers to their new location on Houston St. on the Lower East Side of Manhattan for an event celebrating their new, thick-cut, Hickory, double-smoked bacon. And let me tell you, get all your thoughts of sad little fast-food chain bacon strips out of your mind. This stuff is not only something I consider very much edible (and I do NOT eat at fast food chains often), but it’s actually delicious!
They had an awesome setup in the store- beautiful staging, with a gorgeous wooden table laden with flowers, fabrics and of course, bacon paraphernalia. Apologies in advance, but all I had on hand with me at the event was my iPhone, which hopefully explains away some of the picture quality issues here!
We got to sample a bunch of different items, including their breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg and cheese on maple bread, a grilled cheese with bacon and tomato, their delicious BLT, and the piece de resistance: a maple bacon donut! This is apparently a secret item on their menu- but if you go to the counter, you can ask them to make one special for you. Shhh… you didn’t hear it from me!
I will admit I was very skeptical of the whole bacon from a donut shop idea… but Karen Gold, Manager of Product Development for Breakfast and Lunch over at Tim Horton’s explained how the process to revamp their bacon line took eight months of sampling, trying new flavors, and working with suppliers. I repeat, eight months of trying bacon for the sake of your job. Rough life, huh?!
But just look at that bacon! It’s meaty, and chewy, it’s thick cut… and it’s flavorful. Another awesome thing they did for us was bring in a “sensory expert” who explained to us the three components of flavor: taste, aromatics, and chemical feeling factors. I did not expect a science lesson, but it was really interesting understanding how all of those aspects factor into our brain understanding the flavor of a particular food. In the case of bacon, it combines so many different tastes… salty, sweet, and umami- the fifth (and my favorite) taste!
Overall this was an awesome event, and I really appreciate the invite from the Tim Horton’s team. Wait, did I mention there were bacon-covered Timbits (donut holes)? Because there were. So many of them. So many delicious bacon-covered Timbits. These are NOT on the menu, secret or otherwise… but they were AWESOME!
Since I just showed you so much bacon awesomeness, I wanted to share with you my favorite way to prepare perfectly crispy, delicious bacon strips. I first saw Alex Guarnaschelli cook bacon this way on her show Alex’s Day Off, and it’s the only way I make my bacon now. Don’t get turned off by adding water to the bacon while it’s frying- it actually leads to exteremely crispy yet chewy strips.
- 8 slices bacon
- ½ cup water
- In a medium skillet, lay out the bacon strips, then add the water.
- Bring the water to a simmer and allow all of the water to reduce and cook until the bacon strips are nice and crispy.
Thanks again to Tim Horton’s for the invite to this great event. Check out more photos on my Flickr page… and here’s hoping your weekend is filled with bacon
PS. I was not compensated in any way for attending this event or writing this post. I sincerely enjoyed the event and product and wanted to share with you all!