There are few things to match a well filled bacon bap when seasoned with a judicious splash of HP sauce . on a Saturday morning, particularly after a rigorous Friday night.
Last Saturday, we had pulled into the car park outside the vast Mole Valley Stores at South Molton in Devon, Andrew, Sarah and I. There are several MoleValley Stores and they the places to go if you’re looking for any and every kind of agricultural and rural accessory. This Mole Valley Store was not a visual delight, to be honest.. Contemporary industrial unit style, I’d say. Functional is the word.
‘You’ve got to have a bacon bap’, said Sarah and Andrew with one breath. ‘There.’ They pointed to a catering trailer taking up a chunk of one side of the car park. ‘Kenniford Farm Kitchen’ ran the legend in large white letters on a black background across the top, with ‘Great Tasting Local Product’ just below, and ‘Hogroast Baps, Sausage Baps, Roast Dinners, Mini-Roasties, Bacon Rolls, Egg Baps and Hot & Cold Drinks’ listed down one side. There were three young women manning the counter, with an slightly older woman carving up hunks of roast pork with practised ease.
‘Shoulder?’ I asked.
‘Shoulder of leg, It depends what they give me.’
‘Breed?’ I asked.
‘Large white or Landrace, crossed with Duroc or Pietrain,’ she said.
‘Free range?’ I asked.
‘Of course,’ she said.
‘Bacon cured on the farm?’ I asked.
She gave me an old fashioned look.
‘Good enough for me,’ I said. ‘A bacon bap, please.’
A young woman with a solemn face fed several slices of bacon into the open maw of a bap. They flopped like puppies’ tongues. I added a squirt of brown sauce. The bap was soft, almost downy. The slices of bacon had been generously cut, which gave them depth and density. They had a good ruff of fat, and carried a deep, porky mellowness. The HP sauce added a Blumenthalian sharpness of contrast. It was altogether a higher soft bap experience, worth every penny of the £3.50 charged.
‘Any chance of a sliver of crackling,’ I asked the solemn-faced young woman who served me. Without a word, she dipped her tongs and passed me a small, golden-amber tile. There was the ghost of a smile in her eyes. It was text-book crackling, firm, crisp, crunchy, warm, with the flavour of toasted caramel and just a light gloss of satiny fat.
The collateral damage from the night before was completely repaired.
There are Kenniford Kitchen trailers at Mole Valley stores in South Molton, Newton Abbot and Cullompton. The farm also does hog roasts and has its own farm shop. For further information contact Kenniford Farm, Clyst St Mary, Exeter, Devon EX5 1AQ. Tel: 01392 875938. Or look at http://www.kennifordfarm.com