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AMERICA'S BEST

An Irish Pig

March 11, 1993|KATHIE JENKINS

The Irish are not generally thought of as great cooks. But Irish food is fresh, simple, satisfying and flavorful. One of the foods the Irish are known for is their lean, meaty bacon, which bears very little relationship to the stuff Americans put in their BLTs.

Streaky American bacon is made from the fatty pork belly. Lean Irish bacon, on the other hand, comes from the loin of the pig.

In the past, when Irish people went back to the old sod, many filled their suitcases with bacon to bring back home. Now things have improved: Ireland's leading bacon manufacturer has opened a warehouse in New Jersey.

The bacon is still produced in Ireland, but it's made under strict USDA regulations. This is no pig in a poke--the pigs are even segregated. The "American" pigs (those subject to USDA guidelines) live in one pen; the rest of the pigs reside in another.

Shannon Traditional's Irish bacon costs $5 a pound; minimum mail order is five pounds, plus $12.75 shipping.

Shannon Traditional, 1443 Palisade Ave., Teaneck, N.J. 07666; (800) 669-0063; Major credit cards accepted.

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