Let us begin at the beginning. In the morning, there was bacon, and it was good. To this, eggs were added and life just couldn’t get any better. Only… life is never so straight forward is it?
So everyday is the humble bacon and eggs we seldom question its origin or provenance. “Bacon and eggs” as a concept, was popularised by Edward Bernays in the 1920s. Edward was an Austrian-American pioneer in the field of public relations and propaganda. To promote sales of bacon, he conducted a survey of physicians and reported their recommendation that for good health, people needed to eat a hearty breakfast. He sent the results of the survey to another 5000 physicians, along with publicly touting bacon and eggs as the hearty breakfast. (His associates in the pork industry were well pleased with the results). Edward made a Time Magazine list of the 200 most influential people of the 20th century.
So there’s the beginnings, now for the next bit. Thanks to Eddy B, bacon and eggs are on just about every cafe menu from Sydney to Singapore, London to LA and they’re also on ours. We wanted our bacon and eggs to be the very best they could be, when engaging with the ubiquitous… go hard. So, like always with us, the process begun by stepping back and taking a look. First the pork. You’ll never have a great end product if you don’t start with the best, it goes for coffee and it goes for bacon.
With the help of our meat supplier Grant Hilliard at Feather and Bone, we sourced the best quality fresh pork from local producers Melanda Park on the Upper Hawkesbury. Matt and Sue Simmons raise beautiful Durroc cross and Large English Black pigs like the lovely girl above. Their animals are free rangers 365 days a year giving the pigs every opportunity to dig around for potatoes and other tasty treats they might find, making them happy, healthy and, well, tasty.
We had our pork. Now it was the turn of our chef Tommy Prosser (another large English breed), to turn it into bacon. Tommy had been pining (whinging), for the dry cured bacon from home and set about making our very own here in Surry Hills. He takes the pork and cures it five days in a mix of salt, dark sugar, honey and molasses. It’s then washed for two days and hung to dry a little in the cool room for another two days. All this is done without the use of nasty nitrates. Nitrates have been used since the 16th century to make bacon and other meats last longer. Nitrates are what gives bacon its particular pink colour and part of what we have come to associate as bacony flavour. Not using nitrates means our bacon is more roast porky in colour and with a truer pork flavour, it’s also healthier and fresher as nitrate free curing means we cure weekly.
Bacon. Check! Now to find the bacon an eggy bride. The search didn’t take us very far. Farmer Browns eggs from Snake Gully, just out of Dunedoo in Central West NSW. When the Browns chooks aren’t hanging out in their caravan, they’re running around with the Poll Hereford cattle they share with and are watched over by two Italian guard dogs.
The Browns practice “free choice” feeding where the chickens choose what and where they feed as they believe the chickens are the best judge of what they need. They also have chooky vending machines that dispense fresh lucerne, chicory, clover, coxfoot, fescue and rye. They’ve even gone to the trouble of sourcing crushed oyster shells for grit because they not only produce better shells, they contain micro-organisms that benefit the chooks. Their eggs, (they call them “cackleberries”) consistently win blind tastings of chefs, providores and professional egg judges.
With perfect eggs in hand we needed to cook them perfectly. With the aid of some new age gear called a thermal circulator, we are able to accurately heat and hold the temperature of the water at 62 degrees celsius, the exact temperature at which the egg white cooks, (the yolk cooks at 68 degrees).
This means that the eggs are cooked perfectly….
…every time! Not just any bed for this beauty. Lay her down on a slice of toasted organic sourdough from Sonoma Artisan Sourdough Bakery.
Thanks to all our wonderful suppliers and farmers out there.
Please come to the cafe anytime for breakky or lunch.