October 30th, 2008 18:06 EST
Judyth Piazza chats with the Bacon King, Rocco "Boss Hog" Loosbrock
I`ve seen a lot of strange ideas for jerky, but perhaps bacon jerky is the strangest thus far. But at a time when brands are coming out with cactus jerky and tofu jerky, then hey why not bacon? At least it`s meat, and better yet, it`s BACON!
It`s the idea of Rocco "Boss Hog" Loosbrock, who runs Moorpark, CA-based Coastal Vineyards, Inc., a company that started out running a wine club offering subscribers bottles of wine each month. Loosbrock then introduced food clubs for stuff like jams, barbecue sauces, olives, and bacon. Over the next several months, the bacon club proved popular, and has seemingly changed the focus of his business. This bacon jerky, marketed under the Bacon Freak brand, is perhaps only the start of his success as a baconpreneur. He still offers the wine clubs, but the website of Coastal Vineyards is largely dominated with graphics of smiling pigs.
I sampled the "Honey BBQ Rubbed" variety, and got a strong, classic taste of smoked bacon, backed with a good deal of honey sweetness. As I chewed down, a greater concentration of that bacony-wonderful squeezed out.
For being a bacon jerky, you`re getting tons of bacon flavor, mostly because it`s real bacon. And it doesn`t taste like the standard bacon you`d get from the grocery store chains, this has a very "old fashioned taste" that conjures up images of a bygone era somewhere in the heartland of the USA. It has a more meaty taste than the thinly sliced stuff you find elsewhere.
As a "Honey BBQ Rubbed" variety, it certainly is sweet, but not so strong on the BBQ part. I don`t really see this as having any kind of barbecue taste. But that shouldn`t detract from one`s appreciation of this snack. It`s still very delicious.
Of course being real bacon, it`s got plenty of fat. Beef jerky, on the other hand, is meant to be ultra-lean only because pieces of fat tends to spoil as it ages and creates a bad taste. But then again it`s real bacon, and bacon fat is the best tasting fat there is.
This bacon jerky is presented in thick slices when compared to grocery store bacon, but is actually on par with beef jerky. It doesn`t eat like standard bacon either, it`s chewy just like jerky. There`s enough meat on these strips that you can actually taste the natural meat flavors. Even the fat is somewhat chewy.
Unlike other meat jerkies, this stuff gets oily. Each bite requires a good finger-licking. The sugary glaze from the honey even adds a sticky factor that may perhaps increase your licking pleasure.
Bacon Freak may have done meat-snackers a favor by combining America`s love affair with bacon, putting it into a snackable form factor, and topping it up jerky-like seasonings. Whether or not this bacon jerky makes it way to convenience stores remains to be seen, I tend to think store employees will "hog" it all up for themselves.
This story was contributed by Steve Johnson of Best Beef Jerky. You can visit his site at
Signing off at Pigging out!
Rocco "Boss Hog" Loosbrock
Use coupon code (sop) to get a 10% discount at www.baconfreak.com
Rocco owns and runs a Bacon of the Month Club called The Bacon Freak Bacon is Meat Candy Bacon Club as well as a Wine Club called the Coastal Vineyard Wine Club