It wouldn't be breakfast without bacon - and there's plenty of smoky, salty goodness during Australian Bacon Week (25 June to 1 July). The annual celebration shines a light on Australian pork and its producers. "Close to 70 per cent of the bacon and ham produced in this country is still made from imported pork," says Mitch Edwards, marketing manager at Australian Pork. "The majority of us would prefer to have fresh Australian bacon, but people just don't know how to find it."
Kicking off the week of pork-proud festivities is the announcement of the winners in the Australian Bacon Awards, where around 130 bacons from across the country are judged on everything from balance of flavour, smell and texture to juiciness, appearance and fat-to-meat ratio.
*Update:* the overall winner of the 2017 Australian Bacon Awards is Griffith Butchery in Canberra, who also took home the national prize for best full rasher. Their pork is sourced from Bundawarrah. Winner of the best short-cut bacon was Barossa Fine Foods of South Australia for their proscuitto-style entry.
Before the official start of Bacon Week, an exclusive dinner at Quay in Sydney will feature a bacon-themed menu created by chef Rob Kabboord (think crackling and quail egg sandwiches seasoned with bacon, and the bacon-glazed doughnuts pictured above).
As for the best bacon tip? "Make sure your pan is hot enough before the bacon hits it or it'll steam before it cooks," says Edwards. "Steamed bacon is ruined bacon."
For 100 per cent Australian pork, look for the pink PorkMark. pork.com.au