What I know about food can be written in a big font on the flap of a cereal box, but I do like a bacon sandwich. Vegetarian as I was for years, it wasn’t the bacon sandwich that lured me back onto flesh (I could never understand why they were always thought ‘irresistible’. Yummy, yes, but it’s a sarnie, not crystal meth), but having allowed swine into my life, those clever marketing people at Lurpak came as close to defining ‘food porn’ as any when they plastered their bacon roll poster around where I live.
I don’t know if I believe in perfect. The bacon sandwich is, after all, the preserve of builders, greasy spoon cafés and those wanting a hot breakfast on the run. Beyond decent bread which I can fetishise all day, and welfare-friendly meat, there’s not a lot you, I or Heston Blumenthal can do to it. And so price is a factor, because we’re not talking haute cuisine here. By far the best bacon sandwiches I’ve had have been from anonymous greasy spoons, but for something near you, here are my findings.
Marks & Spencer
£2.95 Three bits of bacon, soft brown roll, made up in front of you. The bacon had been sweating under a heat lamp for an unknown length of time. The brown bread gave a nod towards health, but over all, it didn’t feel like a proper breakfast. The process of buying it felt a bit impersonal, and there was nowhere to sit and eat it, so you had to have it on the street. Of these three sandwiches, this was the least successful.
£1.60 Three bits of bacon, soft baguette. These are kept warm, and you grab them off the shelf. Again, nowhere to eat them, but the bread was really soft, the bacon nicely chewy, and good value for money. Perhaps leaving them for a while gives the grease a chance to soak into the bread. A strong contender for best budget option, but kept off the top spot by…
West Cornwall Pasty Company
£2.25 This franchise is popping up all over London, having taken control of the railway stations. I bought mine from Marylebone, and it was a dead ringer for the Lurpak ad. Lovely soft bread roll, loads of bacon, I unwisely noshed this before a swim and it nearly sank me. Only the thought of burning off the calories kept me going. This felt really substantial, again the bread absorbed a lot of the grease from the meat so it had a lovely flavour all the way through. Kept me filled up until the middle of the afternoon, and gets my seal of approval. Definitely worth stopping to have one if you miss breakfast at home, you will be the envy of your tube carriage.
Be warned! Most of these outlets stop selling bacon sandwiches at some time between 11 and 12. This is transparently stupid.