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Product Spotlight: Meats and Cheeses

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02-13-02 - Product Recommendation & Review:
Bacon One item that most low carbers get to enjoy often and in lots of dishes, is bacon! Crispy and delicious as a side dish at breakfast, or a yummy ingredient on a low carb pizza, a cheesy quiche, or a myriad of other options. So choosing an exceptional one is key. We decided (after a number of people had written to ask us for our recommendations) to try out some bacon brands and report on the best... So below, you'll see what the outcome of all that testing was!

Applegate Farms Bacon Out of all brands we tried (and we were frying bacon for hours!) we finally settled on the two best to give our recommendation to. First up is
Applegate Farms Sunday Bacon. It's a medium-thick sliced bacon with a very old-fashioned taste, and an even mix of fat to lean so it fried well. It's smoked over apple and hickory hardwoods and you can taste the result.

It reminded me of a bacon I always got in an old German restaurant my parents frequented in my youth and was by far the best bacon we tried when wrapped around a filet and grilled. Like all of Applegate Farms meats, it's made without sodium nitrate. This was also the tastiest bacon in our Fried Cabbage with Onion & Bacon dish.

Boar's Head Bacon And the second of our two favorites was
Boar's Head brand bacon. This is a premium brand with thin, even slices. It's a more modern traditionally flavored bacon that fries quickly and gets quite crisp without burning. It makes the best sandwiches and is the best for simply eating with your morning eggs, or crumbling over a salad.

(By the way, to almost any fresh low-carb salad, try adding a few slices of bacon and a handful or toasted almonds... it might prove the best salad you've ever had!)

Applegate Farms products are available either at a store near you (see their website for a store locator), or by ordering online at their site: Applegate Farms. Boar's Head meats are available at butcher shops, delis, and finer groceries. You can call Boar's Head direct to find a store in your area (1-888-884-2627), and they have a website coming soon.  [Both brands are available in my area (Dayton, Ohio) at Dorothy Lane Markets.]


09-25-01 - Product Recommendation & Review:
Sandwich When thinking back to those lazy childhood days of Summer, I remember my Mom calling to me from the back door to let me know lunch was ready. More often than not, it was my favorite sandwich waiting for me — fried bologna with mayonnaise. Yeah, some of you think that sounds weird... whenever I mention it, I always get a mix of "you're kidding that's strange!" and "Oh, I remember those, I loved 'em!" Guess it depends on where you grew up. But for me, it was a treat I hung onto for years. It was always three slices (with slits so they wouldn't curl), fried till the edges were crisp, and layered on bread spread with mayo. (My girlfriend loved them with a fried egg on top!) As a low-carber, I gave them up. Your basic commercial bologna like Oscar Mayer contains fillers, nitrites, and sugars. So even substituting low-carb healthy breads wouldn't save this sandwich.

Applegate Farms Salami and Bologna This week, we had the chance to try two great items from
Applegate Farms Turkey Bologna, and Turkey Salami. With no antibiotics, no nitrites, no sugars and super taste, cold cuts are back on the menu! I suppose I don't need to tell you that I had to make a fried bologna sandwich (on thin-sliced Keto French bread) with mayo... Oh my gosh, it was great. And I made some fried bologna converts of the group! (I'm so pushy!) [grin]

We made "Dagwoods" too... you know — those sandwiches you pile high with meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomato, and pretty much whatever suites your fancy. The mixture of the bologna and salami was quite good. Especially with a spicy brown style mustard!

Have school age kids? These are cold cuts you can feel good about sending with your children when they 'brown bag' it! You're gonna want to try these.

All of their products are available either at a store near you (see their website for a store locator), or by ordering online at their site: Applegate Farms.


07-12-01 - Product Recommendation & Review:
Applegate Farms Meats
If there's anything that belongs in the very center of all our diets, it's meats — great meats. Meats with flavor, variety, and processed in the most healthy ways possible. To this end, we have been searching for such a brand that met these qualifications to be our first entry in our new area for Meats & Cheeses! (Don't ask us why a low-carb site took so long to create such areas for review!!)

We want to recommend the meats and cheeses we recently evaluated from New Jersey based
Applegate Farms. Boasting a rather large product array, affordably priced, conveniently packaged, processed without the use of antibiotics or nitrites, and absolutely delicious, we can't think of a better candidate for our spotlight! No, we didn't get the chance to try everything they make, but we tried a lot and I can tell you this group wolfed it down like true low-carbers! We sampled much of the meat on sandwiches made with our homemade low-carb bread — baked specially for the occasion — but also found many of the meats made great "finger foods".

Applegate Farms Meats We started with their classic
Roast Beef, which is lightly seasoned and very juicy. All their deli-style meats are medium-thin sliced and are easy to work with. The roast beef — which was to die for with their Emmentaler Swiss (but more about that later), is exquisite with a sharp or Poupon style mustard. Sliced in strips, consider adding it to a chef salad. Mmmmm...

Next we tried several varieties of their
Sliced Turkey Oven Roasted Turkey, Herb Turkey (with fresh delicate herbs already baked in), and Smoked Turkey (the ingredients are turkey, water, and salt... pretty simple, huh?) If you like smoked turkey, you'll love this one. The understated smoky flavor is unmistakable without being overpowering. The herb variety is really ... well, one of our members described it as tasting like "Summer" and I guess it kind of does. It's a light taste with a little extra zip. And the oven roasted is for the turkey purist in you when Thanksgiving is just too far away. We tried this one with both melted cheddar, and spread with low-carb cranberry sauce.

Hot Dogs on the grill From there, we moved to the grill (well, we used a hibachi, actually) and made some fire-grilled dogs. We had three of their
Hot Dog varieties — Natural Beef, Chicken, and Turkey. Now, I've never cared for chicken hot dogs before, but these ended up being my favorite of the bunch because of their light flavor. The beef variety came in second with me, but first with most of the group because it's got that classic "day at the ballpark" taste.
Applegate Farms Hot Dogs
None of this should detract from the Turkey dogs which were good in their own right and which were a favorite for two of us. So how did we have them? We tried them with sauerkraut and mustard (the beef were the best for this), with classic ketchup (we used Steel's sugarless brand) and mustard, and with relish (the turkey dogs were best with relish.) For an all natural hot dog, you're going to find these hard to beat.

Farmhouse Cheddar Lastly, we want to recommend their cheeses. Their
Farmhouse Cheddar has a real homemade taste and the slices are not "rubbery" like many commercial cheeses. They're easy to grab and use too since they come with small divider-papers between slices. But the star of the show was that great Emmentaler Swiss ! Imported from Switzerland, it's reminiscient of our garden variety Swiss, with more body and more personality. It's what you want to use when you make our Sorbonne or Classic French Onion Soups. There was a restaurant I always went to that had the best French Onion Soup I'd ever had. I got them to tell me the recipe, but it called for Emmentaler Swiss. French Onion Soup I could not locate it and used regular swiss. The recipe really suffered. I finally found the Emmentaler at a local store, but while improved, it still wasn't right. It wasn't until I made it with the Applegate Farms Emmentaler that I finally hit the right note for that soup. So of all their products, this one was my favorite.

All of their products are available either at a store near you (see their website for a store locator -- here in Dayton they're at Dorothy Lane Markets), or by ordering online at their site: Applegate Farms. (Check out their "Summer Specials" while you're there!)



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