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It’s bacon, but not as we know it

I know, I’ll post a picture of bacon. Americans love bacon!

This is a giant, messy wad of dismembered bacon chunks. It’s called “cooking bacon.” I guess it’s made up of offcuts and leftovers. It’s substantially cheaper than any other kind of bacon, including my favorite British bacon: lardons.

Lardons don’t taste different from any other bacon, it’s just fun to say. “Oooo, that Oscar Mayer, he gives me such a lardon!”

Anyway, I’ve been on a dried bean kick lately. I asked for fatback, and I got this cooking bacon stuff. It’ll do, it’ll do.

Oh, hey, I’ve lived here upwards of five years, and I’ve only just realized you can’t get lima beans for love or money. Turns out — I did not know this — lima beans are just baby butterbeans. I can get butterbeans, but not limas.

You just never know what you’re going to miss.

So Mrs Mondale croaked and ExpressoBold takes the dick! We know what that means, don’t we? Dead Pool Round 60 Friday, 6 sharp.


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: February 4, 2014, 11:42 pm

In the late ’60’s, there was a ‘C’-ration named Ham and lima beans. It was the worst thing I have ever tasted.

Comment from acat
Time: February 4, 2014, 11:48 pm

Heh. Never heard it called “cooking bacon” before, but Trader Joes (think an upscale/organic Aldi .. if you’ve seen an Aldi, that is) stocks the stuff .. and it’s pretty tasty, laid out on a sheet of parchment paper in a jelly roll pan and baked at 350f for 20 minutes or so. Every now and then, I get a thick chunk I take a knife to, but usually it’s .. just bacon. On the cheap.


Comment from tomfrompv
Time: February 5, 2014, 12:03 am

Pork and beans. Bacon and Bean Soup. Yep.

Beans and Lardon? Lardon and Bean Soup? Nope, I’m not eating that.

Comment from Harry
Time: February 5, 2014, 12:43 am

Oh, yeah…bad memories about lima beans and ham…even in the Navy it’s reputation pre-stunk itself…the grunts called it–and we squids copied–“ham and motherf*ckers”….

Comment from PatAZ
Time: February 5, 2014, 1:00 am

Can’t believe you are from the south and didn’t know that lima beans were the same as butterbeans. We always called the dried ones limas and the fresh ones butterbeans. Have no idea why. And at Walmart, that package is called Bacon ends and pieces. Same as bacon but cheaper.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: February 5, 2014, 1:10 am

That bacon in the stores in Colorado is marketed as “ends and pieces”; and yes it is trimmings, offcuts, and leftovers of the process of making those nice, neat, 1 lb. packages. And tasty either oven fried for breakfast or in various dishes.

In re: that C-rat. I’ve had to depend on C-rats for a period of time. Then I encountered MRE’s. Civilians tend to be appalled by MRE’s. Having eaten C-Rats; I find MRE’s to be comparably bloody wonderful. And I use them as traveling food to save money and for convenience. Breaking them out when stuck on a bus trip across Texas does tend to get looks from fellow passengers. And I remember a rather fascinated reaction from a 5 year old Cajun boy who saw the little bottle of Tabasco sauce.

Subotai Bahadur

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: February 5, 2014, 1:19 am

Back in the 90’s I spent a little time in Guatemala and got an opportunity to live on MRE’s for a bit. Weird and wonderful things abounded. The one that sticks in my mind is Toast – in a sealed green plastic pouch…. All I could think of at the time was:


We don’t want OUR boys fighting a jungle war without toast…

Getting back on topic though I seem to recall that the bacon was good.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: February 5, 2014, 1:41 am

The correct method for bacon preparation is standing in front of the stove in your skivvies, eating it straight out of the pan.

Comment from Deborah
Time: February 5, 2014, 4:00 am

The incomparable Julia Child could say lardons, and make it sound like poetry.

I don’t keep a bacon grease can anymore (though it took a long time to break the spell), but I usually save a few slices out of each package of bacon to keep in the freezer, and after I cook the bacon, I save a few tablespoons of bacon fat to freeze. Then I have seasoning for black-eyed peas, or pinto beans, or to put in the bottom of the pan when I make biscuits (don’t tell). Last week I had to make biscuits with butter because I was out of shortening, so I skipped using the bacon grease 😉

My mother-in-law cooks the most divine butterbeans. Each time we go “home,” Husband begs for butterbeans. She says we sure are easy company.

Comment from JeffS
Time: February 5, 2014, 4:13 am

Bacon is a wonderful addition to just about any bean soup that I can think of. And it’s great for split pea soup as well! But I missed lardons, a/k/a bacon ends and pieces. I’ll have to snag some of those next shopping trip.

Ham and lima beans ….. ugh! I only had to endure C-rats for maybe two years, until MREs came out, but I had those once. Ugh!

Some Vegetable, whilst a ROTC cadet, we spent many weekends rambling around various parts of the Black Hills, patrolling and ambushing. One such weekend, where we were really heading in the woods, the cadre issued us “Long Range Ration Packets”, a/k/a freeze dried food. Not bad, except for the “Cornflakes bar, with orange flavoring added”. And that’s EXACTLY what it was. Even the colonel’s dog wouldn’t eat them — he buried them.


Those cornflakes bars weren’t surpassed in awfulness until I was introduced to “Hominy grits, with smoke flavoring and bacon bits added”, available only in T-rats. Thank God.

Comment from ed
Time: February 5, 2014, 8:19 am

@ Skandia Recluse

“In the late ’60′s, there was a ‘C’-ration named Ham and lima beans. It was the worst thing I have ever tasted.”

Ham & Eggs C-rations were infinitely worse. The “ham” were two pucks of pork gristle and nasty beyond belief enshrouded in a syrupy goop that you soon realized to your horror were the “eggs”. Eat it cold and it is chokingly disgusting. Eat it hot and you’d need a straw as everything disintegrated.

I couldn’t finish the one and only one I have ever tried to eat. And as someone born in South Korea I can practically eat almost anything and very likely have.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: February 5, 2014, 1:10 pm

Oh, Ed? by the end of the year, Ham and Eggs was GOOD!
The reconstituted milk, never!

Comment from Yojimbo
Time: February 5, 2014, 2:26 pm

Man, nothing like home-cooked pork and beans. Can we come over and have a tastey?

Comment from Can’tHarkMyCry
Time: February 5, 2014, 2:48 pm

Deborah: I freeze all the bacon I buy–two slices or two ounces in a ziploc “snack”-sized bag, all the bags in a larger ziploc. That way, it never goes bad, and I always have a supply on hand.
Oh, and I make my biscuits using bacon grease rather than shortening. So I still keep a grease can in the refrigerator.

Comment from Deborah
Time: February 5, 2014, 5:27 pm

Mmmm, Can’t hark. I want to have breakfast at your house 🙂

Comment from JeffS
Time: February 5, 2014, 9:58 pm

ed, near the end of the C-Ration Era, “ham and eggs” was changed. Instead of the horrifying concoction you describe, we had spam with scrambled eggs mixed together, in a weird form of casserole, or a bizarre cake, spam with yellow marbling. And it tasted like spam.

Comment from Nina
Time: February 6, 2014, 4:57 am

When I can find ’em, I get those ends and pieces, pull out the big bits of fat, and fry it all up in a deep pot. I drain off the rendered fat (sometimes I save it, sometimes the dog gets a treat over her food) and put the rest in a zip lock bag to be tossed in eggs, salads, whatever. It’s bacon!

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: February 6, 2014, 5:17 pm

Any time you happen to be passing through New York’s Capital Region, Deborah! 😉

Comment from Sockless Joe
Time: February 7, 2014, 4:02 am

Some years ago, in the food distribution biz, we carried a 10 lb “ends and pieces” product. Good for cooking, salad bars, pizza topping, etc.

Comment from Doubting Rich
Time: February 7, 2014, 7:23 pm

£1.10 for 600+ grams (more than a pound) at Sainsbury’s. Have a pack in the fridge. Sometimes it’s great bacon too, and I never have eaten bacon without cooking it.

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