While food fads like fondue fade into dusty obscurity and others like cupcakes dwindle in popularity, pushed out by donuts, cronuts and wonuts, bacon remains a staple in hipster and homesteader kitchens alike.
The smoked and sliced meat of the pork belly, bacon has been used in American cooking for centuries to add a touch of salt and a sheen of fat to dozens of dishes, proving that everything really is better with bacon.
And in case you aren't convinced, Wind River Meat in Dubois, Wyoming, proves that everything is better than better with their homemade bacons and various meats.
Wind River Meat is located on Dubois' (pronounced Doo-boys, accent on the doo) main street at 106 W. Ramshorn.
If no one greets you at the door, it's because the owners are hard at work in the back, smoking meats and cheeses, and slicing bacon (up to hundreds of pounds a day!).
Inside the compact store, freezer cases lining the wall are loaded with meats and cheeses of all kinds. To name a few, Wind River Meat offers smoked salmon, two varieties of bacon, smoked chicken, several sausage varieties and jerky sticks.
We could've gone all Epic Meal Time, bought out the store and made a life-sized meat replica of a bighorn sheep, but for good digestion's sake, we just sampled two.
Cost: $6 per package
Flavor: Smoked and sugar cured (also comes in pepper). The bacon is thick cut and contains a good amount of lovely, creamy fat.
Uses: As we discussed previously, uses are pretty much endless. Use as you would store-bought bacon, but be prepared for a genuine, minimally processed taste that's hard to find elsewhere. A few ideas to get you started:
BBQ Rubbed Smoked Chicken
Cost: $3.40 for a half chicken
Flavor: BBQ, but the actual taste of the spices is very subtle. Smoke flavor comes through nicely. Likewise, this product is moist beyond belief.
Uses: Seeing as it's smoked and fully cooked, you could (and after one taste you'll probably want to) eat the chicken straight from the package. If you're a little more patient than that, try some of these suggestions:
In case you're nowhere near Dubois and don't plan to be, one of the owners mentioned he ships bacon as far as Hawaii. Give them a call at 307-455-3366 for more information and to find out how you can get a taste of the delicious smoked and seasoned goodies at Wind River Meat.