Friday, April 24, 2015

The Bacon you don't even know you're missing

I love bacon.  My husband loves bacon.  My daughter loves bacon.  And honestly, if you don't love bacon, I'd probably be apprehensive about being your friend.

I even got a Bacon calendar from my friend Gloria:

Whenever we have a hog butchered, bacon, of course, is the first thing gone from the freezer even though I meticulously ration it.  Well, I ration it after the first week; because after a month or three of bacon-free breakfasts when we've run out, I go into a bacon-frenzy mode and we eat bacon round-the-clock, arteries be damned.

So when I finally became culinarily acquainted with this strange thing called "jowl", my mind was blown.

WHY wasn't I told about this heavenly product before?  In all my city life, I don't think I've ever been offered, nor attempted to purchase that peculiar pork product.  I'm not quite sure if they even had jowl out in the meat case in the store.  And if they had, I probably would have used it for fishing bait or something.

Then my eyes were opened.  Or more accurately, my taste buds were awakened.

Jowl is basically BACON!
Bacon?  Not quite. But just as yummy!
I'm even tempted to say that I like smoked hog jowl even better than bacon.  Waaaaaaaa?????  Did I just say that?  But seriously, it's at least a toss up.  Bacon is still most heavenly, but jowl is quite Divine.

I'm convinced that it is a huge conspiracy.  People in the know purposely put smoked jowl in the meat section next other "strange" items like chicken gizzards and tripe and hog casings, hoping that nobody will buy the stuff and that they can take it home for themselves at a reduced rate when the package expiration date comes close.

But that's fine with me now.  I don't have to go to the refrigerator cases at the grocery store and toss a package of overpriced (honestly I don't know what it costs, I may go see though) smoked pig cheek into my buggy, because I've got it in my freezer already!  Because since we've been butchering our own hogs we've been pretty much flush with bacon and jowl.  And the fact that we have have very, VERY nice friends who bring us extra jowl that their family doesn't want from their hog (the fools!!!) makes it even more fantastic.

Have you indulged on any smoked, sliced pig cheeks lately?  If not, you should.  You don't know what you're missing!


  1. Well I can honestly say I never heard of jowl or ate it. But back in my meat eating days 30 plus years ago before I went vegetarian. Bacon was the last meat I was eating, before I gave up meat all together! It was one of the few meats I actually liked. I can't really say that about most meat. I hated most, but I enjoyed bacon. There is a funny saying, "the smell of bacon cooking has turned many a vegetarian carnivorous again". LOL. To this day I do like the smell of cooking bacon, though I can't say I am tempted to eat it. But I like the smell of it. I can't stand the smell of most meat raw or cooking for that matter. But bacon is good. :O)

  2. I never even knew one could eat pig's jowl. (But, of course, those wise old-timers did eat all of the pig but the squeal, ya know.) What happened to the jowl back in the day when we raised a couple of hogs for butchering? Did they go home with the family that ran the small processing plant? Well, I won't make the mistake of not getting my jowl meat if we do decide to raise pigs again! Thanks for the info.

  3. it's even BETTER then bacon. there. i said it. ha!

  4. We're big cheek eaters here! Very few parts of a pig I WON"T eat...and that's all I have to say about that

  5. Interesting. I'll have to remember this.

  6. We usually have it on hand, to cook with or my husband likes it fried just like bacon too.

  7. Carolyn,

    Never had it, I'll have to try it.

  8. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to look for it. I don't think I've ever met anyone who didn't like bacon. And I'm with you onyour comment:

    (If you don't love bacon, I'd probably be apprehensive about being your friend.)

    I feel that way about someone who doesn't like dogs. Now I can add bacon to the list.

  9. In Italian guanciale, which is cured pig cheeks

  10. I have tried it and you are right it's awesome! When confronted with jowl I remember reminding my husband how great walleye cheeks were and thought "why should a pig be different from a FISH?" hahaha strange how logic works sometimes!