To break my hiatus, I came across a new item at my local Trader Joe’s the other day, Unured Black Forest bacon. I hazard to bet that most people have had a form of Black Forest ham at least once in their lives, probably not the real deal from Germany, but some bland approximation of the real deal. The words “Black forest” are regulated name places in Europe and ham that some from the Black Forest region has to meet certain specifications. Kinda of like using the workd Champagne on wine. Not allowed to use that name (although there are some exceptions in California, but that’s another story for another day) unless the grapes come from the Champagne region.
Typical Black Forest ham here in the USA looks just like any other deli style ham, but with a black rind. This is supposed to emulate the hand rubbed seasoning that real Black Forest Ham goes through. Black Forest ham is supposed to be smoked. The real thing is super high quality and not something you would find at your local grocery store.
Having said all that, I found this new Black Forest Ham to be a nice addition to the lineup of bacon that Trader Joe’s current carries. I have said this time and again that one of the best products at Trader Joe’s is the uncured Applewood smoked bacon. I think it’s one of the best bacons I’ve ever tasted! I love the smokiness of that bacon and the nice thick cuts and usually less fat than regular bacon.
The Black Forest Bacon follows in that tradition of offering a high quality bacon at a price that is much lower than say Whole Foods for a similar product. This is priced at $4.99, which is a whole dollar more than the Applewood bacon so unless you don’t like the applewood smoked bacon, go for this one.
I appreciated the nice smoke flavor, not too heav and definitely a lighter smoke flavor than the Applewood smoked product. The flavors are are pretty subtle and I really couldn’t taste anything resembling a black forest ham flavor. The bacon fried up really nice and crispy but as you can see from my pictures that it got a little burned around the edges. That is a common problem I find with uncured bacon is that if you turn your back on it, you get burn it quite easily.
I really liked it, but it’s a notch below the applewood smoked bacon in my opinion so I will give this Black Forest Bacon 8 Bells!