I spent part of last weekend visiting the Goodmans on their Macnean farm in County Fermanagh. They have a smallholding and tiny farmshop just outside Belcoo where they rear rare breed pigs such as Tamworths and Oxford Sandy Blacks.
The pigs are completely free range and they spend their days snuffling up roots in the fields surrounding the Goodman’s house. Their gingery hair looks very fine but actually feels like a yardbrush. We got in the field with them and they love to come and scratch themselves against your legs. It’s a bit like being tackled by a particularly hairy rugby player.
We bought some bacon to bring home and it was an eye-opener. Almost ruby red in colour, it grilled up into crisp-edged, firm meat with a sweet almost caramel flavour. It was tremendous.
I gave up on supermarket bacon long ago because I never liked the white gunge it oozed during cooking but the Tamworth rashers were several cuts above any bacon that I’ve bought recently from the butcher’s.
It’s not exactly a life changing moment, like the day I discovered Marks and Sparks ‘active waistband’ trousers, but it has made me think hard about the meat I’ll eat in the future.
What foods have made you stop, strike a mock heroic pose and declare ‘From now on, I am not eating any more X. Only Y shall pass my lips from this day forth!’