And inside it were a few of these:
This was, of course, tremendously exciting. As Tara explained in her email, this is dry-cured, with no water added. It's not just bacon, it's bacon STEAK. I tried to take a few different pictures to show off its girth better, but this is the best I could get.
Which doesn't really do it justice. It's fat. And meaty. You think you've had thick-cut bacon, and then you get a strip of this in your hand and you're like damn.
So, you're wondering, is it good? Listen, this has nothing to do with the fact that I got it for the free - the shit is delicious. It's incredible. It takes a long time to cook, and if you cut a strip in half to make it fit in the pan better, it'll roll up like one of those plastic fortune telling fish, so pan-frying it is indeed somewhat tricky, but omg, it's so good. Because it's so thick, you get more of that pork belly type feel, where it's crispy on the outside and chewy warm fat on the inside. Boyfriend was unimpressed ("it tastes like bacon, what's the big deal"), but to me it was like manna from heaven. I think grilling it would be neat.
I was trying to decide what to cook with it, but aside from using two strips for a pot of kale (crap, I guess I never provided an updated version of my kale recipe! the secret is red wine vinegar) - which it worked brilliantly for, by the way, the thick cut lends itself perfectly to this type of thing - I actually ended up eating all that I got in basic fried fashion. And loving it.
Much, much recommended. It's seriously off the chain.