You've heard of all sorts of bacon trends over the years, but this one is pretty interesting because it lacks the main thing all the other trends had: pork.
Munchies recently did a story on Matthew Accarrino, the executive chef at SPQR, and how he's using white sturgeon to make bacon. Yeah. You read that right…
Accarrino moved to California from the east coast in 2007. His culinary style combines his Italian heritage, personal experiences, and training. The chef also is dedicated to the direct sourcing and producing of his restaurant's ingredients.
The key to Accarrino's sturgeon bacon is that it's not trying to be something it's not. SPQR's fish bacon isn't crispy and it isn't greasy -- Accarrino's bacon is thick and tender.
"We make our own bacon in house and had some of the leftover cure left (molasses, brown sugar, and salt). Sturgeon was the only thing we had lying around and we ended up trying it out - it's been on the menu ever since. Since we make our own caviar from the sturgeon, it's a great way to serve the two alongside each other," Accarrino says. (This is the official dish on the menu: Challah with a Sturgeon Bacon Salad, Accarrino Caviar, and ice lettuce.)
Accarrino decided to use white sturgeon for bacon because the fish are so large. The chef is dedicated to using every part of the fish at his restaurant, so, "the new bacon offers guests a gill-to-tail dining experience," reports Munchies.
“We’ve had dishes where we’ve served the sturgeon bacon with the roasted sturgeon and the caviar all from the same fish," Accarrino says. "It’s a pretty unique opportunity.” Sometimes he handles the fishes' less attractive pieces by making sturgeon remoulade.
Accarrino gets all of the fish for his restaurant's "bacon" from Passmore Ranch in Sacramento, Calif. He insists that the farmed fish he uses is in wonderful condition.
Michael Passmore, the farm's owner, is dedicated to farming great product while keeping the fish healthy. “When a farmer or rancher is doing their best, the results are superlative because they have given what they are raising the absolute best environment and inputs, which result in the best flavors, textures, and quality,” Passmore says. “Not sure why anyone wouldn’t want that? My chefs sure want it!”
And pork lovers: don't worry. Accarrino also makes regular pork bacon at SPQR, too.
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