Like many bacon lovers, I’m a huge fan of food television. While I’m not exactly a slouch with the frying pan, there are some evenings when I just don’t feel like a major food undertaking. Those nights, I’m much more likely to grab a bag of sour cream and bacon flavoured chips, put on a pair of my comfiest pyjama pants and enjoy someone else’s culinary creations for a change.
I certainly have my favourite shows, but one celebrity chef who always entertains as much as he makes my mouth water is the incomparable Anthony Bourdain.
Bourdain Samples The Culinary Wares of Toronto
And wouldn’t you know it, but Mr. Bourdain recently wound up in my neck of the woods: downtown Toronto, filming a new episode of his series The Layover. The premise of the show is to show you lots of great, quick, easy-to-reach spots in whatever city Bourdain is visiting that week, all within a 24-48 hour period – like the amount of time you might be in a city for a layover.
While there was no official schedule released for Bourdain’s visit, but it was hard not to take notice of the dashing celebrity chef as he made visits throughout the city. He was seen indulging in poutine at the unreasonably delicious Poutini’s and having a brew at the legendary patio of Ronnie’s Local 069. But perhaps most interesting of all – and most exciting for us bacon lovers – came when Bourdain stopped in at Carousel Bakery in St. Lawrence Market, founded way back in 1803.
The Carousel Bakery Bacon Sandwich
Carousel Bakery is home to one of Toronto’s – nay, Canada’s – most beloved sandwiches: peameal bacon on a bun. Toronto isn’t called Hogtown for nothing, after all. In fact, this fair city got the moniker when one William Davies immigrated to Canada way back in 1854, and brought with him an expert knowledge of how to cure pork – and how to make bacon. His recipe for peameal became legendary, and TO is still honoured with the nickname as a result.
But back to the sandwich. This local gem is truly a work of art – both for it’s abundance, and it’s simplicity. A soft pillow country bun is split in half and lovingly filled with several layers of salty, wonderful peameal bacon – at least six layers, to be specific (and to get your mouths watering). And that’s it. Seriously, just meat and bread. Sure, there’s lettuce, onions and tomatoes available if you need the frill, and no fewer that five gourmet mustards to choose from for some kick. But whether you spruce it up or keep is sublimely sinful, this sandwich is a piece of Canadian history. Bourdain can now attest to it’s deliciousness to boot!