Why the bacon we serve at Baba Olga’s is so much better
Commercial bacon sells for less than half of what we pay for the bacon used on Baba Olga’s B(E)LT Sandwich (bacon, egg, lettuce, and tomato on pretzel croissant with homemade tarragon mayonnaise). Why do we pay more? It’s locally-produced meat from High View Farm in North Hanover, New Jersey that’s raised right. We are very proud of serving this meat with its outstanding flavor and the health benefits of eating meat that has been raised without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones. We also use the farm’s wonderful lamb for specials. Look for lamb semit kabobs with hazelnuts and Turkish Urfa pepper cooked on our hardwood charcoal grill once the weather improves.
Farmer Linda Geren, who grew up on a farm in the Ozarks before embarking on a career as a chef and restaurant manager, is following her lifelong dream of running her own farm at High View. Here, she can ensure that the animals are treated humanely, are fed right, and stay in their family groups for their whole lives. The bacon comes from pigs of the Landrace breed, which is of Danish origin and brought to the U.S. 250 years ago and prized for their long loins and the excellent flavor of their meat. Café Chef Manager Aliza Green visits High View as often as she can where she gets a kick out of seeing the animals frolicking and knowing that they’ve been well-cared for.
For Linda, it’s never been an economic decision to raise animals, because it takes a huge amount of work and expense to raise her pigs to full grown. Her reasons for working so hard have to do with knowing where the meat came from and wanting to recreate the flavor and quality of meat she grew up eating. She (and we) could go to the store and pay much less for meat with much less work, but it wouldn’t taste the same and it wouldn’t be the same!
To read an in-depth interview with Linda Geren, see Aliza Green’s book, The Butcher’s Apprentice, on sale at Baba Olga’s.
So, next time you’re at Baba Olga’s, give that B(E)LT sandwich a try!