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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Market Basket
Pre-made bacon doesn't quite sizzle

By Joan Namkoong
Advertiser Food Editor

As much as cooking-obsessed foodies don't like to admit it, for the rest of the world — people who don't consider preparing food an attractive pastime — time is a big deterrent to preparing home-cooked meals. Everyone likes the idea, but few are willing to take the time.

Ready Crisp Premium-Cut Bacon, contrary to its name, is not very crisp.

Bruce Asato • The Honolulu Advertiser

Which explains why time-saving processed foods are such an integral part of the new products scene.

We wondered when we came across Ready Crisp Premium-Cut Bacon, a 3-ounce package containing 18-22 slices of fully cooked bacon in a vacuum-packed pouch. The new product sells for $5.09 a package at Safeway, or $1.70 an ounce. That's opposed to the $3-5 a pound you pay for regular, cured but uncooked bacon (18 to 31 cents an ounce). Even figuring for the considerable shrinkage involved in cooking bacon — especially if you like it extra crispy — the price seems hefty.

On the plus side, the Ready Crisp bacon proved to be very thinly sliced and not too fatty, though it took longer to cook than the 5 seconds advertised on the package — more like 30 seconds or so. And the taste was very nice.

The one thing this product may have going for it is its portability. And you could eat the bacon as is, in a sandwich or on a burger, though it isn't, contrary to the name, very crisp.

Signs of summer: Produce departments are busting out all over with seasonal fruits and vegetables, including new-crop California green seedless grapes (selling for a little over $3 a pound, but very fresh-looking, with few to no damaged or over-the-hill grapes in the clusters), Northwest Bing cherries (about $3.50 a pound, but it's tough to find a basket in which all the cherries are really ripe) and corn in the husk (selling for anywhere from 99 cents to $1.25 an ear).

Food Editor Joan Namkoong has just returned from a leave of absence; this is the last column prepared by her colleagues while she was gone. Send shopping queries and new product information to: Market Basket, The Honolulu Advertiser, P. O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802. Fax: 525-8055. E-mail: jnamkoong@honoluluadvertiser.com