Last year, when a Scottish friend of Robin Halbert’s began spreading word around the Microsoft campus that Robin and his wife, Calli, were creating British-style bacon, the orders started pouring in. The couple began making regular deliveries to Redmond, and the word kept spreading. In February, the Halberts created a website: properbritishbacon.com. In April, they opened a store in Auburn called Proper British Bacon & Meats while also supplying farmers’ markets in Queen Anne, Kirkland, Issaquah, Federal Way, Kent and Renton. Unlike traditional American bacon, which is taken from the pig’s belly and has a higher fat content, British bacon comes from the leaner—but still flavorful—back meat. The Halberts use dry curing, in which salt, sugar and spices are rubbed into the meat to remove excess water, and sell their British bacon in smoked and unsmoked varieties for $8 a pound. “With dry cured, basically you are buying less water,” Robin says. Besides British- and American-style bacon, the Halberts sell a variety of porcine specialties in their store (625 S Auburn Way; 253.709.8294), using pigs from their own Twisted S Farm in Enumclaw and from Pure Country Pork in Ephrata. Their products include free-range natural sage breakfast sausages ($6/package) and shaved and smoked Black Forest ham ($7/pound). Robin’s personal favorite? Sausage rolls ($10/four), which consist of Linkshire sausage baked in a puff pastry—“a fun snack for breakfast or dinner.” The Halberts deliver monthly to the Microsoft campus and also will continue selling at the farmers’ market in Federal Way through October 2.
Published October 2010