Bringing Home The Bacon…Or Not

You may have heard about the possible increase in coffee prices because of the Brazilian drought.  In late January, the wholesale price of a pound of Arabica beans was $1.15 and by late February the price had jumped to $1.70.  Recently, it hit $2.20 a pound.

Of course, when it comes to coffee, I’m like a Boy Scout: always prepared.  I routinely have a few pounds hoarded in my pantry.  My current stockpile includes two pounds of Hawaiian Kona blend, a pound and a half of Costa Rican Tarrazu, a pound and a half of “Morning Buzz” French Roast, and a pound of Mexican Altura.  Plus three 10-ounce bricks of “Cuban” espresso for use in my Moka pot on Sundays.

The newest threat is to bacon.  A virus has killed millions of piglets in 27 states and pork prices are heading up.

I’m not a bacon fan but I’ve noticed it has become somewhat of a darling on menus, especially hamburger restaurants.  Hardee’s has the Bacon Thickburger; Burger King has the Bacon Cheeseburger; and Wendy’s offers the Baconator. McDonanld’s offers a number of bacon menu items: Bacon Clubhouse burger and various quarter pounders with bacon, including the Bacon Habanero Ranch version.

I didn’t eat much bacon when I lived in the Philippines.  Bacon was something I rarely had for breakfast.  A typical Filipino breakfast is garlic fried rice, longanisa (Spanish sausage), and a fried egg.

About the only time I ate bacon was on a bacon, lettuce and tomato (BLT) sandwich, which was my usual lunch on bi-monthly Saturday shopping trips to Sangley, a small U.S. naval station across Manila Bay.  Another friend with military base privileges and I would go to the U.S. Embassy, located on Manila Bay, and catch a free launch shuttle for the short trip across the bay to Sangley. (I didn’t think to take photos of the Manila skyline from the water since I wasn’t a “tourist.”)

sangley

Shuttle Landing Dock at Sangley Naval Station

After arriving at Sangley, we’d head to a base restaurant for lunch and I’d usually have the BLT.  After that, it was off to the PX (post exchange) for some tax free shopping for gen-you-wine American jeans, records, etc.  (And not just for us, but also close friends who didn’t have military base privileges.)

These days, I still don’t eat much bacon.  I can’t recall the last time I had a BLT. I’m not a fan of bacon on a burger (or a pizza).  About the only time I eat bacon is when we’re having breakfast at a “sit down” restaurant, such as Denny’s and I order some version of a “Slam.”

Even now, I do not buy bacon.  For one thing, cooking it creates a greasy mess. (I tried cooking it in a microwave but that doesn’t produce the same “crisp” result as frying and I don’t like my bacon “soggy” as the British do.)  I prefer sausage links anyway.

So if bacon prices have increased, I’ve not noticed.  But if you’re a bacon fan, you might want to start stockpiling it.  And coffee…

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5 responses to “Bringing Home The Bacon…Or Not

  1. Bacon can still be bought economically at target and, on promotion with a Winn Dixie rewards card. I buy it for $4.99 lb and freeze it. We use it to cook with more than anything else, being from the South has it’s obligatory customs. The microwave gets it as crispy as you want it using a bacon pan and liberal covering of paper towels.

    We are alike in splurging on coffee. Recently I became disenchanted with our long time provider of choice, Gevalia. The coffee is good and we had used them for 16 years but their customer service and attitudes are GWTW.
    So I branched out and what fun it is. The best tasting coffee of the bunch is from Bird Rock Coffee Roaster in La Jolla, Ca. It is from Ethiopia named Guji Zone, I have a Uganda Sipi Falls waiting to sample next. Currently I am brewing a Columbian from a 4 pack sampler from Dog Wood Coffee Co out of Minneapolis, Their Burundi Civugiza is very good, we don’t like strong tasting brews, preferring milder flavors. Can’t stand Starbucks. Or touristy trash like Hazelnut and Vanilla.

    We also order Espresso from http://www.espressozone.com/.I am fond of Miscelad’oro Gusto Classico.

    I still have the final shipment from Gevalia Traditional Roast ready to go but just can’t get too it for all the new and delightful flavors we are trying.

    Occasionally I use the Tampa Roaster http://www.ccmcoffee.com/ you referred me too when I want something quick. It’s over by TIA in Drew Park and I can stop by while in route to my cardiologist office (lol) I can get a coffee buzz on just by walking in and inhaling the wonderful aroma

    And then there’s my stash of Puer Tea. I am aging one 2002 Bing Cha from
    Southern Yunnan and will break it out soon. It develops a richer earthier taste while aging. I once bought a small sample from the 70’s. It was outrageously expensive and had an unforgettable flavor but I can’t afford it on a regular basis.

    Happy Coffee Sunday

    • That’s a good price you’re getting on the bacon. WD is about gone from Tally and Publix has little competition.

      I wish Albertson’s was still here, although I do like Publix’s BOGO. Without that my grocery bill would be way too high and most everything I buy is on some sort of sale.

      You certainly are enjoying some fine coffees! I’ll check out all those places you mentioned. You may want to check out freshroastedcoffee.com. They have some good prices and varieties. Flat shipping (and free shipping if you buy $35 I think it is). They have tea too.

      As for espresso, a friend who visits Tampa regularly brought me back a brick of Cafe Modelo, which I’ve not seen here. Very good.

      Maybe one day I’ll move back to the Tampa area. The urban area is creeping north. Wesley Chapel doesn’t look too bad and it’s about 15 minutes from north Tampa.

      I’m getting spooked about the tax issues of living outside the U.S. “Regular” folks are renouncing U.S. citizenship because of reporting complexity even if they owe nothing. Not sure if you can live overseas and maintain a U.S. bank account without a U.S. address. (In Manila, my parents had a U.S. bank account because we had a U.S. “APO” San Francisco address which statements went to.)

  2. Winn Dixie is BACK in Tampa Bay.

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/retail/winn-dixie-readies-to-rebrand-sweetbay-stores/2171724

    They have a gas saver reward card which I decided to try out the last few weeks and I was able to put it to good use.. I got a 20 gallon fill up for $2.10 a gal. Just by paying attention to their fuel driven bargains of stuff I use. That was $1.55 off the pump price

    I am still a Publix fan but now branch out to Target and Winn Dixie.

    Somewhere in our past blogging I seem to recall discussion on Taxes and Healthcare logistics living abroad, not surprised you are reconsidering.
    I love living in Tampa but I know the area very well and how to get around the traffic trouble spots, one of which is all of NE Hillsborough County including Wesley Chapel. Using the NW toll roads makes life much simpler during non-rush hour traffic. We transferred all of our medical providers around the University area to NW County

  3. I’m not a coffee connoisseur but I do enjoy a cup every morning. Since I’m the only regular coffee drinker, I tend to buy coffee a pound at a time or just pick up a box of k-cups for the Keurig. I’ve noticed the k-cup boxes have expiration dates. I wonder if it would be wise to freeze coffee until it’s ready to use. Any idea if that works? Or does it change the taste?

    I do love bacon, but have only ever eaten it in moderation. And like you, I don’t enjoy it on a burger or pizza. I like it best as a side item with breakfast and only cook it the old fashioned, messy way. Although, a friend just mentioned that the pre-cooked bacon is really pretty good. Sam’s Club supposedly has it at a reasonable price.

    • Normally, you do not freeze “bulk” coffee, because when you take it out of the freezer to use some, opening that container will result in minute condensation on all the coffee in there, which will undermine quality over time as more and more condensation builds up. The only time you want water on coffee is when you are brewing it.

      I think it would be OK to freeze the K-cups since they are individual sized. Give it a try and see if you notice a taste change.

      Depending on how well-sealed those K-cups are, you may not need to worry. I’ve used vacuum-sealed coffee past expiration date and it tasted OK to me. Once I open even whole bean coffee I put it in a zip-lock bag and then put that in a fairly airtight container, as even plain old air undermines coffee, especially ground coffee.

      If you’re using ground coffee, try whole bean. You’ll have to buy a grinder but I’ve seen those for about $10.00. Experiment with different grind sizes. I base mine on the number of seconds I grind.

      For drip coffee makers, you don’t want a fine powder, you need some bulk to that grind so the water doesn’t just shoot straight through but seeps into the grind. A powdery grind is for espresso if you have a steam-type maker. Since you’re the only coffee drinker, you can get a 2-4 cup “stove top” espresso pot for about $10. (An espresso cup is about two ounces max.)

      I saw there is now bacon-flavored floss!

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