Danepak has launched a new 'lower salt' bacon range. But does cutting down the sodium cut down the flavour?
Armed with what it calls a ‘ground-breaking’ (and top secret) new curing process, bacon producer Danepak has developed a new type of both smoked and unsmoked bacon containing 30% less salt than its rivals.
We wanted to know whether reducing salt would have an adverse effect on flavour, so decided to test it against some smoked and unsmoked bacon from award-winning Devon-based producer Denhay (available in most Sainbury's and Waitrose shops), as well as artisan supplier Meat Porter’s smoked variety.
This was a completely blind test. Participants were unaware of the brands involved, or the flavour variable that we were investigating.
Unfortunately, for all its efforts, Danepak’s new bacon placed third in the smoked category. The repeated mantra from our tasters was that it was “not smoky enough”, but it still rated fairly highly on overall flavour with a score of 6.4/10.
In second place came Meat Porter, with a slightly thicker cut that went down very well with most people. “Fantastic,” said one, adding “really strong, great smokiness.” But the thickness, for some, also led to an overly dry mouthfeel that cut marks down to an average of 7/10.
And in first place was Denhay, with its “flavourful, smoky” taste. Its thickness (a tad thinner than the Meat Porter bacon) was well received, but all in all it barely got an edge over its competitors with a score of 7.2/10.
Danepak placed second for its unsmoked bacon, and here the lack of salt was apparent, with many tasters saying that it wasn’t salty enough. One even drew an unhappy face on their comment form. But it also got positive feedback for being “tender” and having a “porkier” flavour than its competitor. It scored 6.7/10.
Denhay came first again, due to its “meaty taste and texture,” and “great flavour”. However, one person did say it’s a “bit dull” despite this. A score of 7.1/10 overall.
What I think
Honestly I found it rather difficult to tell the difference in flavour between Denhay and Danepak, though the thickness of Meat Porter’s bacon set it apart nicely in my opinion.
It’s also noticeable that despite the criticism of the new Danepak bacon, it scored reasonably well – so although perhaps that new cure is causing a little trouble when compared to the ‘real’ thing, I think you could easily make the substitute and be happy enough.
On the other hand, we all know bacon, for all its amazing flavour, isn’t that great for us – so do we need a low salt version, or should we just eat the normal stuff but less often?
Would you try the new low salt bacon range? Or would you rather stick with a good old-fashioned full-salt rasher? Let us know in the Comments below.
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