Sep 16 2012

Does Bacon make you happy?

Posted by     36 Comments    Posted under: Kitchen


Where, oh where, did the time go?

We moved back home to Galway 4 years ago. After having spent 15 years in America (Cincinnati, Ohio) then one very educational year in Zurich, Switzerland, we touched down on Irish soil on August 2008 with little or no expectations; all we knew is that it would be raining.

We trundled back into the town of Galway and made ourselves quite at home. The first year was absolute hell. The Chef kept pining for, and not finding, every kind of American ingredient a chef could think of. He kept comparing the price of this in euros to the price of that in dollars. After one or two ‘come to Jesus meetings’ with him he finally got with the program and realised we were not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy.

Baking bliss followed with his job at Mortons of Salthill where he got his daily baking groove on after having had an almost two year career break.

I asked him a few weeks ago if he missed his old life still and how does he feel about living in Galway now.

And true to fashion, him being a Chef and all, his answer will not surprise.

‘Bacon. I miss bacon. Oh and our friends too. I really miss our friends.’

I had planned on writing about the hardship of moving from the US to Switzerland to Ireland all with two wains under the age of 4 (at the time) but who needs to read that drivel when we (apparently) have a crises on our hands.


I remained calm and then flew out the door with my wallet determined to fix this issue, feeling confident that we have enough rashers of bacon in Ireland to beat the band, so surely ONE of them will sate him, right?

(NB: Expert bloggers state that 200 words per blog post is the PERFECT amount of words otherwise you run the risk of loosing the readers interest. I am already at 325 so feel free to tune out and let the pictures tell the story from here on…be in Sun-daze-haze if you will).


Good honest Irish bacon


There are waaaaaaaay too many Irish bacon products on the market. Between the fat salty rashers or the thick cut smoked streaky …  it took us weeks to work our way through them all. We opted for smoked streaky rashers because that is what he would always have eaten, and cooked with, in the US.

These Irish ones (above) were a bit too thick.

Spanish Bacon


The Spanish ones sizzled and spat and curled in the pan and had a distinct smoked almost proscuitto-like taste to them.

Tesco’s smoked streaky rashers


The old reliables from Tesco where just that. Not too salty, not to fatty, not to controversial at all.

If you are aghast to discover that we (a) shop at Tesco and (b) eat bacon from an unknown source ………then here is another shocker.

Occasionally, we have been known to take the kids to McDonalds. Now.You.Know.

Aaaaaaaannnnndddd …. back to Bacon.

Fearing that I might never get him to stop pining for his bacon back home I took matters into my own hands and made him pick one. Pick a bacon that comes closest to the bacon he misses from back home and be done with the pining.

Spain won folks. Hands down.

So, if y’all are looking for an ‘American style bacon’ this Spanish one (Campofrío) is available at all the grocery stores now (even Centra and Supervalue etc.). Incidentally … and this is the kicker guys. The Spanish bacon is actually owned by Oscar Mayer …. so it seems ladies and gentlemen, we can now get ‘American’ bacon in Ireland. Happiness is……..Bacon.

So whaddya do when you have all that bacon laying around and all these gorgeous tomatoes?

BLT time!

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato … on toasted sesame bread with a bit of mayonnaise

So it seems that aside from having magic powers when it comes to curing a hangover, finding the right bacon can also keep a homesick Chef happy.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,



Disclosure : We still support farmers markets despite a massive infection I still have  from a spider bite last weekend, and we still – 95% of the time – only eat meat from a very local and reliable source. So no need to get your heckles up and start finger pointing now ….


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36 Comments + Add Comment

  • Absolutely loved this story! Bacon gives me great joy….and I can still smell the remnants of the aroma from our BELT’s last night (Bacon Egg Lettuce Tomato sandwiches)!

    • Hello Susan,
      Thanks a million for reading and saying hello here in the comments section.
      I hear ya … it has magic qualities and I had no idea (until I blogged) that this was all connected to his favourite ‘American’ bacon.
      ’tis the smaller things in life that make us happy, eh?

  • Aha…. I can see I’m going to have to invite the Chef for a BELT…. the streaky bacon here isn’t smoked… but I’m told the BELT tastes mighty fine!

    • Ha ha .. You know him Margaret … if someone else offers to cook for him ‘he eats it, he loves it and he always asks for more’.
      I love BLT’s … especially this time of year with all the lovely tomatoes xx

  • Shocked. Was expecting you to kill your own pigs for the bacon… laziness 🙂

    • I know … I know … I know ….
      BUT – we did kill our first Muscovy today and have started a ‘when the family comes’ shelf in the freezer for Christmas.
      SO – that surely will get you to back off for a while …. eh? #dudeHeistotallylearninghowtomakeChineseCrispyDuck!

  • Glad you found a compromise my youngest loves that stuff. I was addicted to Bacon in a former life now reformed only thing I miss on a meat free diet. Hope the spider bite heals soon -nasty sounding. Off on a course for 3 days so left the kids with a batch of your oatmeal squares 🙂

    • Funny how you still miss the bacon isn’t it?
      I have been off my foot for a week with the swelling and pain.
      I can’t wait just to get back to college tomorrow to ‘normal’.
      Hope the course is going well and that the kids enjoyed the oatmeal squares.
      Thanks for popping in for a read :0)

  • From summer 2004 until I had surgery in January 2008, my crohn’s flared up and what I could eat dwindled down to half a bagel and lots of 7-Up. (Even though I ended up on steroids for five months before the surgery, they lost their effectiveness towards the end so I wasn’t able to eat much despite having a chocolate lust that would knock an ass!) After surgery, when I was rediscovering food, I realised that my tastes had drastically changed to be ALL ABOUT THE BACON AND THE BREAD! I have become a BLT fiend. So this post is extremely relevant to my interests.
    Thank you for that, Mona! 😉

    • Wow… That is good to know Caroline! There is nothing quite as nice as a proper BLT
      and funny but Ron is a total chocoholic too! Glad you liked the read Carolne .. Hope all is well
      with you now x

  • I have a friend that stopped being veggie for a BLT!
    I still miss friends and places in the UK after being here for 10 years so I know exactly what the Chef means – no food though!

    200 words is way too short – that’s okay for a photo blog but for us wordies – nah!!

    • We had a girl that worked for us back in the US and she was a vegetarian except she ate bacon…
      I loved that about her…she just could not resist it!
      He does get homesick..but is loving how fast-forward the food scene in Galway is these days.
      I know…200 words? That’s like along cough for gawds sake! Wordies unite and rebel I say!

  • DAMN. Tell Ron that BLT looks goooooooooooood. The Spanish bacon can do the trick…prefer the M&S, but both are crispier than any others here it seems. Funny thing is, when I lived stateside, I liked my bacon more like canadian style (less fatty, more like a rasher actually)…now I miss American crispy, greasy bacon. Perfect hangover cure.
    Thanks for a lovely post! Imen x

    • We still live in hope that we can find an Irish producer that makes the nice
      thin cut bacon but it seems like they all like to cut it a little thicker.
      I hear you on the Canadian bacon though… We used to love it when we lived in the US too!
      Looking forward to seeing you on the 28th x

  • 200 is OK for those other bloggers and their stooopid stories, but you must always provide between 700 – 900 or I shall be disappointed.

    Thats the same bacon I prefer as well – the chef is a man after my own heart.

    I take mine to McDonalds now and then – even one christmas eve morning at 7.30 for breakfast – now theres a memory they treasure. Otherwise the other children will laugh at them and I don’t feel that they should suffer for my foodie pretentious notions. They can make up their own minds later, they have opinions after all and are not my intellectual property.

    • A cool 800 words it is then!
      Glad you like the same bacon as the chef…you have already so much in common with him
      Y’all being fond of wiping bowls with vinegar etc.
      And OMG …McDonalds on Christmas Morning….I am sure they will never forget it!
      See you soon for coffee x

  • He should then come and live in Holland. We have very thin bacon.. 😉 But seriously… can we only write 200 words per blogpost?? Really… Then I am in serious violation on all my posts… by a mile or so. And no, this is really not the only thing I remember after reading your story.. It just kind of stuck in my
    Anyways, I occasionally go to MacDonalds too. But only because there really is no other option.. 😉 And I love bacon too.

    • Most of our friends love bacon… But yes, imagine only 200 words?
      I know mine are on average 500 + but I break it up – like you – with photos and
      I think that helps keep people from falling asleep while reading :0)
      Nothing wrong with fast food Simone…everything in moderation.
      Hope all is well and you are enjoying the autumn!

  • Please keep writing until your fingers can’t tap out another letter and I’ll keep reading ’til my eyes can’t see your lovely words! To heck with what others say is the limit to a blog post!

    You are such a delightful story teller and I really enjoyed this one and its happy ending. Your disclosure made me smile as well, ‘crept of course the part about your infected spider bite. Ouch!

    The BLT looks like it will keep Ron *at home* in Ireland for some time to come 🙂

    P.S. I can hardly wait to hear about your time in Switzerland. I will though 🙂

    • Hello Paula,
      Oh…there is no fear I will keep a tapping those keys.
      Now back at college there is a bit of time, usually when I go for a walk
      and all I can think about is writing. The next blog post, column piece or BOOK!
      I have to focus on my studies for the next 24 weeks…but let me tell you once I am
      finished with college I will be back to the book writing! Hope all is well x

  • Hi your post made me laugh – my husband and I spend tons on getting Irish bacon shipped here to Florida bc we love it and thinkit beats our bacon hands down. We are moving over to donegal in a few months and one of the top things on our list is being able to have Irish bacon everyday – maybe I should have American bacon shopped over to make friends with our new neighbors? :). Thanks for this post !

    • Hi there Elizabeth,
      Wow…a move from Florida to Donegal!
      I hope you are going to blog about the experience?
      You certainly will not run out of beautiful scenery to photograph.
      Welcome to Ireland…find me on Twitter when you arrive @WiseMona
      Happy to help you settle in!

  • The Chef is a man after my own heart! It’s no secret that I love bacon – straight up, in vodka, in desserts – and it’s the food from home that I still miss the most. The closest thing to that wonderful crispy American bacon that I’ve found here is the pancetta Tesco used to carry (*whispers* I, too, shop at Tesco). For flavour, the smoked streaky rashers from Crowe’s Farm are the best I’ve had. But now that you’ve done the public service of taste testing all those different kinds of bacon, I’ll keep my eye out for that Spanish one.

    • I do like the Crowes farm one too…but I am not the bacon lover like he is.
      He gets in a serious snit if the bacon fat is disposed off without consent…..
      The Spanish one is deffinetly worth a shot Kristen. It is delicious esp. with a BLT.
      ….now back to German class *sigh*

  • Oh, this is great- I must look out for that bacon *drools*
    I’m so glad you have outed yourselves as somtime fast foodies! The relief!

    • Ha ha! You know I have had a few emails from people this morning saying the same thing
      regarding the outing of the ‘sometimes’ fast food eating. And yes…look for the bacon!
      You will love it. Thanks for popping in for a vist ;0)

  • Yes bacon makes me happy but goodness I’d never considered taste testing as many of them as I could. This could start a new relationship dynamic! Me & Bacon.
    I’m a big believer in balance. It’s not a bad thing to bring the kids every now and gain to the golden arches, use a stock cube etc. 😉
    And if 200 words is the limit for a good blogger then I’m in big trouble….

    • I hear ya Caitriona. We do not use food as a treat or bribe option so
      I am never worried about sending the wrong message. And yeah…go for it in the Bacon trials!
      Thanks for the visit C….next time stay for tea x

  • Hola Mona, Although I’m not a bacon lover (to the degree your hubby is), I was wondering what to have for breakfast this morning and when I read your blog…Saved by the bell!!!!!! A bacon sandwich!!.. I use Campofrio always, as it’s the best we have here for taste and quality. I also use Campofrio cooked ham (thats ordinary ham for you at home), as it’s delicious, although slightly more expensive than others. When you want quality, pay for it, I say… You say they belong to Oscar Meyer ?? I didn’t know that and can tell you the OM bacon is just an insipid comparison!! I was also going to recommend Crowe’s bacon, but see I’ve been pipped at the post!!..

    Who was the “pea brain” that said 200 words is enough??? You just keep on clicking away and brighten our day when we open our post!!…LOL

    I also took my son to McDonalds when he was younger. Must say only every 6 months or so, as a sort of treat. Blackmail?? HHMM…Wouldn’t call it as such…LOL

    I tested your tortilla idea for the salad last Friday and made a little “Rose Maria” sauce for dipping. Son was delighted!!..

    Keep the e-mails coming!!..


    • Ha ha… Emails will keep a coming x
      We are off for a mini-break without the kids to London for a few days.
      Looking forward to having a few hours alone with the chef just to relax and enjoy
      each other without someone clambering all over us.
      And glad your son liked the wrap! Pishaw……200 words? Your comment was longer than that I’d say!
      Hope it is nice and Autumnal in Barcelona!

  • I understand too well what it is like to yearn for those tasty treats that we miss from home ! I love your stories and if I ever come here and find a measly 200 words then I shall be very cross !
    P.S. I joined the local YMCA and tomorrow I will leave Tommie in their day-care and away from me for the first time ! I even bought some shiny new runners. Your words are ringing in my ears so if he cries and they tell me he is not ready……I will be ready with my reply !

    • OMG … I love the YMCA and miss it so much.
      Tommie will love it too Brenda. The people that work there are just brilliant.
      You will love it and just truck along on the treadmill knowing you need and deserrve that little break.
      It is soooo important. Will do a bit more of ‘hello Galway I’m listening’ this week then off to London for
      a mini break with the chef. Can’t wait! Hope you wear holes in those runners!

  • Delicious! Loving that toasted sesame bread. What a good wife you are to hunt down bacon for a homesick Chef!

    • He lOVES that bacon too! And now is not so homesick :0)
      Hope all is well with you Kale x

  • Oh how I laughed!! “My husband left me for bacon” – a great opening line for a novel! Thrilled I am not the only one around here who graces Evil Tesco with her presence from time to time. And mmmm, the sound of that smoky Spanish bacon…. (P.S. the title of the post was rhetorical, right?)

    • Imagine … Jeanne. It could happen! He.Loves.Bacon.
      And yeh …. totally rhetorical question. OF COURSE bacon makes us happy.
      I was working on a vegetarian recipe this week, for winter squash, and totally butchered it
      because ‘it tasted better with bacon bits’ in it. So, back to the veggie drawing board I go!
      Hope all is well in lovely London – next trip I am going to make sure you are around so we can go to that
      glass house/ green house restaurant place. It sounds so cool!

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
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