Honey, Why Are There Nipples On My Bacon?


For the last couple months I've been curing my own bacon at home. Let me first get out of the way that if you've never had fresh, home-cured bacon, find some and eat it as soon as you can. I've never eaten better. Yes, sometimes I wonder where the 11 pounds went in six weeks, but, well, I've been giving some away.

Last night I tore into some pork belly that I got at Fero's, my supplier in the market. I'm only dealing with about six pounds right now as I split an order with a friend. Usually it's a pretty simple affair: douse the pork with a cure, package it in Ziplocs and a week later my house smells like grease. But, last night, when my lovely assistant and I were unpacking, we couldn't help but notice the neat row of bumps along the skin. Houston, we have nipples. I couldn't bring myself to cure/cook the bacon with nipples attached, so I cut them off with a Cutco knife. I'd never cut nipples off of anything before. And I must say, it was a little bit disturbing. And for the two seconds between washing the knife and putting the pork in the fridge, I was a vegan.

I'm still a bit shaken up by it. I can still see the nipples in my hands just before they hit the garbage can, and it makes me cringe. But, then I remember the bacon; thick and fatty, and how good eggs taste when they've been cooked in a pan previous used to cook bacon. And if I have to snip a few nipples to achieve my breakfast nirvana, so be it.

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