Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bacon and Bourbon Expo at Astor Center

Some people head out on expeditions to find troves of treasure.  Others go out in search of a paradise on Earth .  Me, I found both a quick subway ride away at the Bacon and Bourbon Expo.

Judging by the crowd gathered outside the doors waiting for the event to start, I was not the only one going to Astor Center in search of pork and potent potables.  I must say, the crowd was very enthusiastic, even before the bourbon tasting began.  What was it about these two great tastes that taste great together, that was driving these people to distraction?

The very first taste of salty, piggy goodness that hit my mouth elicited a porcine epiphany.  While your normal grocery store bacon is pretty damn good, the bacon at the Expo was simply on another plane.  The artisans at the Expo were trying to perfect something that is pretty close to perfect as it is.  In many cases, they certainly took bacon that much higher up the scale.  Many of the bacons here were also made from heritage breed pork, adding yet another reason to seek out the wonderful products from Neuske's, Flying Pig Farms, D'Artagnan and Black Pig Meat Company.  The average plate of bacon only lasted about 2 minutes before being denuded of even the smallest bacon bit.

The bourbon and other whiskeys held there own against the bacon's stiff competition.    I was not familiar with many of the brands available.  Tasting them was a very pleasant surprise.  While I enjoyed most of the bourbons I tasted, the one that really made me sit up and take notice was Black Maple Hill Small Batch Bourbon.  I should have made tasting notes, navigating the crowd and juggling my camera and a glass of bourbon made writing a little difficult at best.  I do remember taking a sip and just being amazed.

Micther's was another stand out.  They brought bourbons, an American whisky and a rye.  They all were excellent and provided a spectrum of tastes to try.  The American whisky was light bodied and very smooth.  The polar opposite of the peppery and zesty palate of the rye.

I was pretty surprised to see Four Roses there.  I didn't recall Four Roses even making a bourbon and I don't ever remember using the words good and Four Roses in the same sentence.  I was quickly proved wrong on all accounts.  They are trying to revive the brand here in the states after becoming the best selling bourbon in Japan.

Having had my fill of bacon and bourbon, it was time to leave this Valhalla of victuals.  I made my way down Lafayette Street, making a mental note to be sure to make the 2011 expo.


Fresh Local and Best said...

What a wonderfully hedonistic event! I'm imagining all of the fine layers of fat with a itty thin piece of meat together. Yum-o!

Anonymous said...

WOW, bacon and burbon.. what a combo.. right up my alley! LOL great post!