My biggest purchase on my recent visit to Sri Lanka was bacon – I brought 3 kilos back with me. It’s one of the many reasons that I made a trip to Sri Lanka – to meet people I hadn’t in twenty years and to buy Keells bacon. This may sound a tad outlandish but once you’ve tasted the bacon you’ll know what I’m talking about: it’s the best bacon in South Asia.
My father lived in Sri Lanka for about 10 years and after every visit we’d bring back about 2 kilos of Keells ham, bacon and sausages. We had a 300 lt deep freezer just for cold cuts. I spent all my school and college vacations in Sri Lanka and at least thrice a week I’d eat what I thought I had invented, but later discovered was a BLT with cheese, and bacon and chip buttys.
For a while Keells was available in Mumbai and, surprisingly, at local cold storage’s, not gourmet stores – and then it disappeared.
When you have a wonderful ingredient you always want to make something special, something more than the obvious and the regular and I thought about making a bacon and marmalade sandwich. But, it’s been done before so I added on just two more layers of flavour: blue cheese and birista. Bacon, cheese and marmalade are a safe combination; all three work together quite nicely in terms of a balance of fat, tart and bitter as well as texture. I took a chance on the birista and it worked.
This is a really simple sandwich and the only way it will work is if you use good ingredients: you don’t have to use Keells, but you need a good a quality bacon, I used Mackays Seville Orange marmalade, the Gorgonzola was obviously imported and the bread was from Indigo Deli.
4 rashers back bacon
1 tbsp bitter marmalade
2 tbsp blue cheese, I used gorgonzola
1 tbsp birsta
1 medium-sized, round rye bread loaf
Fry the rashers till crisp.
While the bacon is frying, cut the rye bread into two halves.
Spread a thick layer of blue cheese on both halves of the rye bread. Melt the cheese With a kitchen blow torch (or under a grill) .
Spread the marmalade over the cheese.
Arrange the bacon on the bottom half. Sprinkle some birista over.
Sandwich with the top half and serve.
Makes 1 sandwich
PREPARATION TIME: 15 minutes