Oh bacon, just when I think you've jumped the meat shark,
you pull me back in.
Case in point, Berlin Reed
, the former vegan turned meat man behind The Ethical Butcher
(read Kate Williams' WW story about him
) debuts his new BCN/PDX Fridays, a twist on his locally made, small batch "bacon of the month" club. Get a taste of his wildly flavored bacon
(think Jasmine tea and lemon- or Armagnac and maple syrup-flavored slabs) at the commercial kitchen he's now sharing with adorable community-supported outfit Salt, Fire, Time on Friday, April 30.
Locals are welcome to sign up for a year or six months worth of Reed's bacon
, delivered every month, or to buy meat on the spot at monthly BCN/PDX "Lazy Friday" events. At the launch Reed promises tasters of three of his piggy creations, including bacon coated in "tequila, lime, Serrano and jalapeno peppers, guajillo chiles and cornmeal" as well as "Stumptown Burundi direct-trade coffee, dried cherries, stone ground mustard and cloves." He'll also give revelers a heads up on what the flavors for the first official BCN/PDX shipment—made from Deck Family Farms pork—will be and offer
special discounts for people who sign up for BCN/PDX shipments at the event. He says to bring your own drinks—he'll supply the bacon.
Here's the deal straight from the butcher's block:
Folks can sign up for a year, six months or buy on BCN/PDX Lazy Fridays, when extra slabs will be sold on the spot. Doing the project like this helps me buy the best heritage breed meat, as I can buy from the smaller farms that can't sell a few pounds of meat at a time. One pig gives enough belly for 12-15 slabs of my bacon. Having a predictable base of customers to use that amount ensures that waste will not drive my prices higher than I want to, and makes it possible to buy from small farms that only sell whole animals. While BCN/PDX Lazy Fridays will be a way to buy without commitment, market prices will reflect the true cost of this product. The savings for members of BCN/PDX Fridays over what I need to charge for retail is considerable. At the $10 per pound for the year membership, specialty cured heritage breed pork, handmade locally, is available at for the same or less than the commercially-made bacon at natural food stores. The added bonus is that many of the farms I use are too small to sell to stores or restaurants. This is a product that isn't available in any meat department, regardless of price.
GO: BCN/PDX Fridays Launch Party takes place at 609 SE Ankeny St. Unit A. 7 pm Friday, April 30. $10. Info at theethicalbutcher.com.
Photo of Berlin Reed at work by Alison Picard.