Wild Cherrywood Bacon from Nueske’s

Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews

If you like their classic Applewood-Smoked Bacon, check out the Cherrywood!

About six in the morning on Monday, March 15th, 1982, either Paul or I slid a tray of Nueske’s Applewood-Smoked Bacon into the single oven in the small kitchen in the Deli building. At the time, Nueske’s as a company was already about 49 years old. Tanya Nueske’s great-grandfather had come to Wisconsin from Prussia in 1882. I’m not sure where I’d read about Nueske’s, but it sounded so good we’d gotten samples. We loved it, and we’ve been cooking it at the Deli every day for over 40 years now. We’ve also cooked it at the Roadhouse every day since September 15th, 2003, and at the Bakehouse as well, and shipped many thousands of pounds through Mail Order.

R.W. “Johnny” Apple’s primary work as a journalist was politics, but Apple also had a love of great food. In an article about Detroit that came out in the New York Times a few weeks before Christmas in 1997, he kindly called us “the deli of my dreams.” Thirteen years later, in the year 2000, Apple went to northern Wisconsin to visit Nueske’s, after which he wrote in the Times:

Nueske’s struck me as the beluga of bacon, the Rolls-Royce of rashers. It makes a memorable B.L.T., one of the supreme inventions of American short-order cookery, and its crunchiness provides an ideal counterpoint to the richness of calf’s liver or shad roe.

In 2008, the Nueske family added a second, equally amazing bacon. The same great raw pork bellies, the same terrific 24-hour cure in salt-brine, but this time smoked over wild cherrywood from the northwoods of Wisconsin, near their hometown of Wittenberg. It took over five years of testing and tasting to get it just how they wanted it. They did a great job! The cherrywood is different from the applewood, and equally excellent! As the Nueskes say—and I agree: “If you’re looking for bacon that will add unparalleled flavor to breakfast entrees and culinary bacon creations, THIS BACON IS REMARKABLE.” The Wild Cherrywood Bacon is made without adding nitrites or nitrates. (There are only the naturally occurring ones that come from sea salt and celery juice.) If Nueske’s Applewood-Smoked Bacon is a Rolls-Royce, maybe that makes the Cherrywood-Smoked into a Bentley?

The Wild Cherrywood has a terrific, gently smoky, subtly sweet flavor that goes great with anything you like to do with bacon. BLTs, sandwiches, sauces, snacks! I made pasta with it the other evening with fresh peas from Tantre Farms. (Email me if you want the directions to make it.) However you use it, it’s sure to add a bit of beauty and culinary joy to your day!