Bacon Fest 2K6: results and reflections.
Here are the pictures on Flickr: start here. I wrote a lot of notes with the pictures, but I have some things to add. In addition to the 8 different bacons, we also tested cooking methods: microwaving, pan-frying, and broiling. Surprisingly (at least to me, since I always cook bacon in the microwave), pan-frying was the clear winner.
After we tested the types of bacon and cooking methods, the gluttony began. We had BLTs and other sandwiches (which Colin calls "bacon butties") and then resorted to eating the bacon straight. Nine people consumed about 6 to 8 pounds of bacon. (Also, 2 people left after the first tasting round, so it was more like 7 people.) The apartment smelled like bacon for days. Mmm...
My favorite bacon was Wellshire Farms (my comment: "very salty, but delicious"), and my least favorite was Hempler's ("too fatty, not enough flavor"). I also correctly identified which bacon was the "supermarket control" (ie, Oscar Mayer). My comment about first place winner Niman Ranch (and my second choice overall): "Seems really fattening, but that's good for bacon." (I can't come close other participants' comments, however: "rich, complex, superb mouth-feel", "notes of duck", and the somewhat frightening "nice sensation.")
A nice surprise was that Nate and I have successfully passed the all-important BCT (Bacon Compatibility Test): we both chose the same bacon as our favorite, least favorite, and we both correctly identified the supermarket bacon!
This was seriously one of the coolest things I've done. From the scientific method to eating almost a pound of bacon, it was a great day. Onward to Bacon Fest 2K7!